Integrity: when virtue is its own reward and when it isn't
In that way, his story offers a parallel to Rav Safra . I referred to his story a few months ago when I noted that Taleb includes it in his book.
Here it is as related in https://aishcenter.com/2017/07/the-basic-principles-of-jewish-business-ethics/
It happened that Rav Safra had some wine for sale, and a potential buyer came to him while he was reciting the Shema. The customer said “Sell me this wine for such and such a price.” Rav Safra did not answer [so as not to interrupt the Shema]. Assuming that he was unwilling to settle for the price offered, the customer added to his original offer, and said, “Sell me this wine for such and such a price.” Rav Safra still did not answer. [Presumably, this cycle was repeated, with ever-escalating prices.] Upon finishing the Shema, Rav Safra said to him: “From the time you made your first offer, I had resolved in my mind to sell it to you. Therefore I may take no greater amount [than your first bid].” (Sheiltot Vayehi, No. 38, ed. Mirsky, Vol. 2, p. 252 and parallels).
Accordingly, we have faith that good deeds do not have to be rewarded directly in this world and that nothing in our physical existence can be as great as what can be experienced on a purely spiritual plane. In such cases, we can accept that virtue is its own reward. Indeed, we say something similar in asserting mitzvah gorreres mitzvah, that doing one good thing will lead to another good action, not necessarily to a direct experience of rewqard. But, perhaps, for one whose reward is not as great -- because of the status of not being commanded -- a reward in this world is fitting.
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