“A great number of civilized human beings live comfortably with the notion that they would like to know God; and this is as much of a search for meaning as they can indulge in.
They do not get beyond the daily obligations of ethics and religion.
Their search is, at best, the search for an earthly fortune, a matter of putting effort into something and getting a more or less just compensation.
However, using the same logic, there is the story of the rich man who asked the rabbi: ‘What will I get out of the next life?’
The Rabbi answered: ‘At least as much as you invest in it.’
If you put a lot of money and effort into an earthly endeavor, you are likely to earn even more.
If you put a lot of thought and energy into your spiritual endeavors, you’re liable to gain more in the heavenly hereafter.
The trouble is that men are much more troubled about the loss of a 10-pound note on earth than about losing a spiritual opportunity to perform a kindness.”
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From “The Meaning of Sadness” p. 170, in The Long Shorter Way by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz