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Thought for the Day: Keeping the Main Thing Main

The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, simanim 155-6 says that after davening in the morning a person should go to learn, then to eat, and finally to work.  Why do you need to work?  Says the m'chaber: because not working leads to sin.  The m'chaber then continues, "but be sure your parnassa does not become your main occupation but is kept secondary".

What is this like?  Imagine you are an accountant in a large firm.  The boss sees you have some extra time and asks you to keep track of everyone's birthdays and whatnot because he wants you to post a note/email about the event and get donuts for the office on those days (its called "investing in employee satisfaction").  Now you are certainly expected to do an adequate job on that, but imagine the fallout from an annual review that goes:
Boss: So... how do you feel you did this year?
You: I kept track of everyone's birthdays, was sure to get several kinds of donuts, and even used color flyers!
Boss: True, but you didn't keep up with your accounts.  I've had several complaints about delays and mistakes.
You: I often had to cut short working on clients needs in order to get the best donuts!

HaShem: So... how do you think you did this year?
Me: I got in to work early every day and stayed late to make my manager happy!
HaShem: True, but your davening was less than stellar and you didn't keep up with your seder of learning.
Me: I often has to rush through davening and get out of bais medrash quickly to get Employee of the Month!

[Note: There was no "Thought for the Day on Friday because my wife needed extra help getting ready for Shabbos.  I was about to explain to her that I needed to send out a message about midos improvement so I didn't have time to help her and she'd just have to work a little harder.  Then I thought... ooops; maybe not.]


Binyomin Adler said…
great lesson for Shabbos and for good middos.

Yasher koach


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