Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bitachon and Hishtadlus

Our sages teach that if the bread of the todah is not consecrated, it is invalid. The Meorah Shel Torah applies this statement to avodas Hashem. “If a person feels that that he needs to bring a korban todah for all the miracles he has experienced but not for his everyday bread which in truth he receives as a gift from Hashem, he has not sanctified his bread. The efforts he makes to secure his livelihood have not been consecrated by pure emunah.” Rav Yankeleh Galinsky, shlit”a, illustrated this through a lesson that a certain woman once taught the bochurim in his yeshiva. “It used to be that the average yeshiva boy was required to eat at the homes of various local families otherwise he would have nothing to eat at all. In Novaradok, the bochurim would pay a few pennies and the families would feed them. There was a certain woman who would receive the bochrim kindly and provide a hearty meal for whoever wanted. She also provided a marked lesson in how to view the relationship between parnasah and hishtadlus. “Whenever a bochur would come to her home she would say, ‘You should know that you are eating for free.’ “When they would pay she would say, ‘You are giving me this money for nothing.’ The Beis Halevi, zt”l, explained the need for hishtadlus very well. ‘After the sin of Adam, the evil inclination was put in mankind. From then on a person who was not incessantly occupied with something would be drawn to all sorts of things which are negative for his soul. As our sages say, 'בטלה מביאה לידי זימה'—‘Idleness leads to impropriety.’ To ensure that most people avoided such pitfalls, people must work As the Mishnah states, 'יפה תלמוד תורה עם דרך ארץ שיגיעת שניהם משכחת עון'—‘Torah study and working for a living are good together, for laboring at them both makes a person forget to sin.’ But we should realize that it is not our efforts that support us; it is Hashem who supports. He should work as one who fuflills Hashem’s decree that one who does not work will not have parnassah. Yet one should still look to Hashem, since it is He who provides one’s livelihood.”

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