Earning a Kosher Livelihood

By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui


A simple soul once traveled to Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl. Before departing he explained to the Rabbi, how he rises early to buy merchandise from the farmers and returns home to do his morning prayers. The Rabbi condemned such behavior, but the fellow excused himself saying that if he did his prayers first, he would be unable to buy the merchandise.

Rabbi Mordechai then told him the following story:

“A young man supported by his father-in-law was forced to find additional means of support when his family grew. He left home for three years and earned money as a teacher, saving every coin he received. On his way home he reached a small village and realized he did not have enough time to reach home in time for the Sabbath so he decided to stay at a motel. Having no other choice he left his bag of money with his host. Throughout the entire Sabbath, he worried about his money. Immediately after the Sabbath he requested his money back and counted all the gold coins and was happy to find nothing was missing. He then continued to shake the bag. “What are you looking for?” the owner asked, “Is something missing?” The guest told him that he wanted to make sure that this one copper coin was there as well…”

Rabbi Mordechai concluded. “Look at this man’s silliness. After seeing that all his golden coins were returned to him, he still suspected his host of perhaps stealing one copper coin.

Every night, you entrust G-d with your soul. When you wake up in the morning, he returns the gold you have given him. How is it then that you still worry whether G-d can and will provide all that is necessary for the day after you have thanked him and done your prayers in the morning?”

The Bible says that a person must remember that it is G-d who brings a person any success, and one should not attribute it to his own doing.

A person who feels he must engage in ungodly doings to earn a living, or must compromise his principles, does so because he thinks that it is himself who generates the livelihood. If one truly believes that the entire universe was created and is constantly vivified by G-d, and that G-d provides everything in our lives, he would work only because G-d has commanded us to do so and therefore it is unthinkable that following the directives of G-d in other areas of life would stand in the way of G-d providing.

“One who has created the day, also created for each person his livelihood.” “One who has food for today, yet worries what he will eat tomorrow, is lacking in Faith”. Blessings and success come from above, the only thing necessary on our part is to make our effort within reason for G-d to bless our effort. One who is overly involved in his livelihood is compared to a person who sews clothing for himself that are too long, causing himself to trip and fall.


To read more articles from Rabbi Ezagui visit him at http://koshercaffeine.blogspot.com

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