Nov. 26, 2020

Solomon Choi on Leviticus 25 – “The Divine Importance of How You Conduct Yourself in Business” - S1E102


Solomon Choi, Founder and CEO of 16 Handles, NYC’s largest frozen dessert franchise, is Mark’s guest on the podcast today. Solomon has worked in Food and Beverage and Foodservice management for more than 15 years as an executive, advisor, and investor, and has served as an Advisory Board member for Rescuing Leftover Cuisine- a non-profit dedicated to eliminating food waste and hunger. If you are in the Tri-State area or Boca Raton, Mark highly recommends visiting your local 16 Handles - you and your kids will love it. The passage Solomon has chosen to discuss today is Leviticus 25. He starts off by sharing how he chose this passage, along with how he chose his own ‘American name’, as well as the names of his children. He and Mark continue by summarizing the passage and looking at its lessons for doing business, being a good steward, and considering 2020 as a year of Jubilee. They also bring this passage into the present day with its parallels to Solomon’s arrival in New York and the growth of his business, what God imparted to him through that process, and the economic realities and attitudes of landlords during the pandemic. Highlighted throughout is this passage’s call to treat others fairly, equitably and with dignity, especially in business, and how Solomon endeavors to bring that to life as a good steward. The episode concludes with the lessons about humankind that Solomon has learned and the importance and power of meeting people in person. Solomon’s tale of starting with very little, achieving very much, and doing so in a manner in alignment with biblical values, is one that you will not soon forget, providing yet another brilliant example of how this awesome text can ‘illuminate our lives and be our guide’. 

Quotes: “Somehow I named myself Solomon.” “To really have faith that even if you stopped working, you will have all that you need, that God will provide.” “In the year of Jubilee, the 50th year, any debt that was accumulated would be forgiven.” “Do not take advantage of each other.” “God is getting deep into the intricacies of commercial and contract law.” “How you conduct yourself in business is of divine importance.” “In God’s humor, this year could be looked upon as a year of Jubilee.” “This year was very much like stay home, be with family, spend time with family, spend time reflecting on Me, obey Me, and I am going to take care of your needs.” “Through faith, they are surviving.” “We shall proclaim freedom throughout the land for all of its inhabitants.” “We’ve all fallen on hard times.” “I’ve seen, kind of, more of a humanitarian approach to commercial real estate more than ever.” “They’re doing the opposite of, kind of, what this passage is talking about…they’re taking advantage of the situation…they’re not being good stewards.” “We grew 16 Handles organically.” “I just need to become the largest slice within that pie.” “That was almost like my journey going into this land of giants.” “This is exactly where I need to be.” “All of my franchisees initially were customers.” “Deep down inside, man is seeking reconciliation.” “When we are seeing and speaking to another person who is also created in God’s image, I think the presence of God is there.”  

Leviticus 25 - https://www.sefaria.org/Leviticus.25.1-55?lang=en&with=all&lang2=en  Links: The Rabbi’s Husband homepage:  http://therabbishusband.com/ Mark’s Twitter:  https://twitter.com/markgerson?lang=en The Rabbi’s Husband Newsletter contact: daniel@therabbishusband.com

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