Tuesday, March 23, 2010

T'fila L'Parnasa

I don't remember where I heard this story, but I'm pretty sure it's true. I may have embellished it a little.

Yaakov was learning in kollel. Every week, all the men of the kollel would line up in front of the Rosh Yeshiva, and he would pass out their checks. And every week, the check would have the same amount - just enough for Yaakov to support his family. One particular week, Yaakov got in line as usual.  Somehow, as the Rosh Yeshiva was passing out the check, he skipped over Yaakov. When Yaakov asked the Rosh Yeshiva why he was skipped, the Rosh Yeshiva was very surprised. He said that he never missed a kollelman, so Yaakov must have done something that caused this confusion. After a great deal of thought, it came out that Yaakov had been so reliant on the kollel's check, had taken it so for granted, that he had stopped saying the T'fila L'Parnasa during the bracha Shema Koleinu in Shmoneh Esreh.

I just made the same mistake.

I have been temping at an office. When I had my interview there, they basically told me that after I finished the temp work, I would be given a real, permanent job. I took it so for granted, I didn't see the need to daven for a job.  I already had one.

But no.

Hakadosh Baruch Hu is the one who determines who will have parnasa, and who won't. Who will have a job, and who will not. There are no assurances in this life - about anything. Shidduchim, parnasa, health, etc. Hashem gives us everything, and if we are not deserving - if we don't appreciate and acknowledge where our plentitude comes from - He can take it all away.

And davening is the only way to get it back.


Bookworm said...

Davening and hishtadlus.

Kollel is not working, in my opinion. I'm not sure what the story has to do with anything; the rabbi made a mistake, whether Yaakov said the tefilah or not. And by not saying it automatically means he wasn't grateful to the Eibishter? Even if Yaakov is fictional, I'd rather not judge him so hastily.

Staying Afloat said...

Hatzlachah. I cannot imagine being in the position you're in now. It's very hard to count on something and then haveit be gone.

Please remember that sometimes Hashem takes something away for a good reason, though we don't see it. Getting us to remember to daven may be the reason, or only part of it, or not at all. It can be very difficult when one blames herself for every negative thing that happens to her.

May you be zoche to have clarity soon.

itsagift said...

BW-it's not always the story that matters, sometimes it's the lesson we take from the story that really counts. And in this case, MM learned that it is important never to take anything for granted and to keep davening to Hashem even for things we think are "givens" or "automatically ours to keep".

Now that you have come to this realization, let's daven and hope that you get your answer soon!

Bookworm said...

That sort of perspective applies in everything in one's life. Health; home; family; etc. etc, not only parnassah.

Last year on the Tisha B'Av Chofetz Chaim program, Rabbi Gamliel Rabinowitz said how people daven as though their addressing a complaint box, not out of enjoyment in merely being in Hashem's company. I thank Hashem for what He has blessed me with, but not to plead for anything that He has not seen fit to give me just yet.

Just because I missed a day does not mean I appreciate His blessings any less. I prefer not to look at Hashem as someone who jumps out screaming "Gotcha!" every time I slip up ("No paycheck for you!"); rather, He is the most patient of parents.

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