by Mrs. Rivkah Erentrau
How much one yearns to achieve riches, to possess valuables and plenty resources of wealth! But along with this strong goal, one needs to invest the mind and intelligence, much time and fortune into the business. Yet, unfortunately there is a very big chance that despite all investments, everything might go down the drain.
What then will be the encouraging support for his brave and daring steps of investments? From where will one draw courage to proceed forwards into this risky project?
He perhaps may reflect heroism, but along with this powerful move and self-sacrifice, deep down in his heart, exists doubts and dreadful fear, similar to those people who plant their crops with tears not knowing what will result (but when their fields finally blossom, they cut the wheat joyfully).
In these awkward moments, as one anxiously awaits to see some achievements, a glimpse of success, he anxiously and worriedly lifts up his eyes to heaven and prays from the depth of his heart, sobbing and whining.
Just like the sailor who flee to the horizon of the ocean risking his live behind the stormy drawing waves, feeling a significant trust, a reliance on Hashem and his prayers and begging mercy, lifts him up beyond of those who are not in risk of losing their investments.
No one feels so close to Hashem, so connected, full of hope and trust, as a businessman does and relies tremendously on the help from above.
He becomes then as a kernel which we plant in the ground. There is no sweet smell to it, nor a pleasant flavor or form / structure of a complete productive tree.
A kernel needs to be buried deep in the ground. Only when the physical aspect decays, the spiritual energy becomes a part of the growing potential in the earth, it will then blossom.
Stubbornness or self-pride that one’s “might and strength of his own hand brought all the riches” for him, fails.
כוחי ועוצם ידי עשה לי את החיל הזה” (עקב.” (
Just like a prince, whose loving father could have inherited to him all his prosperities and treasures which he possesses, but instead, the king sends him off to a foreign country to struggle with and overcome difficulties.
The goal is to upgrade his talents, sharpen his awareness and develop his mind to research and master the smart and wise technics. Only then, he is worthy to attain it all.
Why couldn’t we live in a world where all our needs are provided for us with no agony, pain or labor? Why are we required to work in order to achieve our פרנסה (parnossa) in a practical sense?
Isn’t this what Hashem expects from the man? isn’t man expected to complete the creation Hashem began? Yes indeed and this role is for the sake of the man.
How is this possible?
For the world to exist, Hashem has concealed his glory in a physical ‘garment’, and this is in order to allow the world to function in its natural manner. Man meets this concealed glory with his physical occupation.
Hashem distributes his spiritual energy into all the various physical details, for each worldly vessel to live and exist. Just as fingers of a hand, function and split its general power by expressing it into various moves and directions. The hand itself with no fingers, G-D forbid, to branch this power into divided energies, cannot make all the various movements.
The concealment of Hashem’s spiritually is the cause for the contrary, the negative elements, who draw energy and sustenance from Kedusha (יניקת החיצונים), and are not fearful of Hashem’s light when it is concealed and decreased.
All skills and sophisticated techniques were hidden in the universe when Hashem created it for the man to discover and upgrade him to his full establishment.
Man has to overcome these obstacles by searching for ‘tricks’ or planning other techniques to avoid the negative elements and eliminate their interference’s.
What does his success depend on?
When he invests his entire effort and intention into his trade, by researching the wise secrets which Hashem has ‘covered’ behind this craft and plans to overcome the difficulties and factors which are challenging, with rational scheming ideas.
Yet with his entire success, he needs to remember that it is Hashem’s blessing. One’s efforts and actions are merely vessels for Hashem’s ברכה.
Every year between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, Hashem seals the decree of the שפע that will be drawn down from above into this physical world.
However, every individual day (in the year), the shefa (flow) is still in a spiritual format and not physical (which we can benefit from). Every day there is a judgment in heaven if one is worthy to get the blessing in a physical manner. His prayers and his refined conduct are the best prospects to convert the spiritual flow into a physical blessing in this world.
(ע”פ: ספר שערי תשובה לאדמו”ר האמצעי בשער התפלה עמ’ סה ואילך. אור התורה להצ”צ פרשת עקב ד”ה “וברכך ה’ בכל אשר תעשה).