Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Income is Fixed from Rosh HaShanna

The vasikin minyan in Chicago finishes too late this time of year for me to go home for breakfast and then leave from there for work.  Instead, I eat breakfast  at Brisk and catch a few more minutes to learn before hopping on my bike to head downtown.  This morning while I was eating and learning, two m'shulachim came into the lunch room.  They started to tell me about their tzorech and I told them I was sorry, but I didn't have my check book.  No problem, of course, they each gave me an envelope.  I always tell them right away because I know their time is valuable and they are always appreciative.  They were about to leave, then one turned to me and said, "We just drove here from Detroit this morning and are exhausted.  We need chizuk.  Would you mind learning a few words of Torah with us before we leave?"  I didn't need to be asked twice.  (I know, shocking; right?)

It was really nice and we spoke in learning about the hilchos brachos, kavod ha'brios, shem l'vatala, etc.  Don't worry, I'll very likely write up more on that discussion some day.  As they were about to leave, I wanted to give them some chizuk about collecting.  I told them over the what I wrote about letting HaShem run the world and that they should know that no matter how much or how little they get from each person they will not go away with less than HaShem has planned for them.  One of them got a big smile on his face and said, "Yes, our income is fixed from Rosh HaShana.  Let me tell you what happened to me just last night in Detroit!"
I went to a certain house and the ba'al habayis spoke to me for 20 or 30 minutes -- a lot of time that I don't really have, because we are on a tight schedule.  You know when someone speaks to you for so long to really understand the situation, you can surely expect a nice check.  He came back from his office and handed me a check... for $5!  I was really angry and thinking how many houses I could have visited and how much I could have collected.  However, I was kovesh my yeitzer and said, "Thank you very much; bracha v'hatzlacha!"  I walked out his door and saw just two houses down a g'vir I had been hoping to catch.  He was just now coming home!  I spoke to him and got a very (I mean very) nice check.  If I had gotten in and out of the first house -- as is normal for a small check like that -- I would have completely missed this other g'vir!  I wasn't at the first house to get a $5 check; I was there to wait for the other g'vir.  Just as Chazal say, my income is fixed from Rosh HaShana; I can't get a penny more nor a penny less.
They really had to get going by then and left.  I realized I was really late leaving for work, but so elated with the whole morning.  I got on my bike and, Baruch HaShem, it was pouring.  I can now answer definitively: I am smart enough to come in out of the rain; but just barely... I tried riding downtown before the rain got so heavy I couldn't really see.  So I rode the short distance home and am working from home today. I had just happened to bring my computer home because of some last minute problems last night at work.  What a coincidence!  Just when I needed extra time to learn but still get to work on time, there just happens to be a problem at work the night before and a heavy rain storm this morning.  Don't you just love coincidences?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…