Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gemara and Parnassa

A chossid once came to Rav Moshe of Lelov, zt”l, with a plea for help: “Rebbe, I don’t know what to do. I try so hard to make a living, but my parnassa is just not what it needs to be! Sometimes I go through a better period when I make money, but then just when it seems to be going well I suddenly lose everything I’ve gained. How can I attain more stability in my finances?”
The Lelover Rebbe answered, “What you need to do is accept upon yourself to learn gemara every day, and then you will certainly succeed. I learn this out from the gemara in Taanis 25. There, the gemara relates that Rav Chanina’s dire circumstances influenced him to pray that he would be granted a part of his eternal reward in this world so that he could secure some degree of material ease. He prayed and his prayers were answered; he was given one of the gold legs from his table in the next world. When his wife saw in a dream that their table in the next world would be missing a leg, unlike the rest of the righteous whose reward was untouched and still whole, they decided to give it back and it was accepted. The gemara concludes that the fact that the heavenly table leg was taken back was an even greater miracle than the first. They said because, ‘we have learned that one who has something given to him from on high does not have it taken back.’ But this can also be explained a different way. “Gemiri”—one who learns his set seder of gemara every day will be granted success from heaven that will not be taken back!”

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