July 27, 2020

Whitney Tilson on Leviticus 19:16 -- "Leading with Compassion"

Mark welcomes Whitney Tilson, CEO of Empire Financial Research, lifelong entrepreneur, dedicated philanthropist, and avid mountaineer, to today’s episode. As a graduate with distinction from both Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Whitney has become a prolific author, a frequent financial commentator on a variety of television networks, and has been featured on 60 Minutes, and in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. While he acknowledges that he is neither Jewish nor particularly religious, Whitney has chosen Leviticus 19:16 to discuss with Mark today.

In this discussion, Whitney shares his personal history, his connection to the Jewish faith, and just why the selected passage is so relevant to his life, particularly during 2020. He goes on to describe his work with the evangelical Christian organization, Samaritan’s Purse, the lasting friendships he made there, and his choice to set aside differences in order to work with them for a greater purpose. Whitney finishes by exploring the lessons he has learned about mankind, in particular, the notion of playing defense in life and marriage, and the importance of engaging and responding in positive ways in relationships. Today, you have the unique opportunity to meet and listen to Whitney Tilson - a man who has lived the very scripture passage he has selected, a man who has risen to his mother’s challenge of taking his good fortune and making the world a better place, a man whose story brings to life the timeless instructional and inspirational nature of the Torah.

Episode Highlights:

Whitney’s personal history Why today’s passage has been relevant to Whitney throughout his life, and particularly in 2020 Whitney’s work with Samaritan’s Purse and the friendships he made His family’s history of helping others Setting aside differences for the greater good The importance of the Bible What Whitney has learned about mankind as a leader in the investment and non-profit world Some of the messages from Whitney’s upcoming book about ‘playing defense’ Micro-interactions and engaging and responding in positive ways in marriages


“Like so many things in the Bible, it was a revolutionary idea that is now completely familiar to us.”

“It felt good to try and make a difference and help my city address this terrible pandemic that killed more than 20 000 fellow New Yorkers.”

“You lived this passage.”

“We put our differences aside to save lives in the short term.”

“You have a duty to take your good fortune and make the world a better place, and help others.”

“I’m really proud of my friends and my fellow New Yorkers.”

“In both cases, you refuse to stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.”

“I always encourage young people…to just read broadly.”

“It’s okay to take risks, but you want to have a mental framework that is focused on avoiding, to the extent possible, the big calamity.”

“My observation is that people treat their spouses worse than they would ever treat most of their friends.”

“We are a function of our actions, and we can control our actions.”

“The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they’re too heavy to be broken.”

Leviticus 19:16 Do not deal basely with your countrymen. Do not profit by the blood of your fellow: I am the LORD. https://www.sefaria.org/Leviticus.19.16?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en


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