By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
“G-d will open for you his good treasury, the heavens, to give you rain for the ground in its proper times.”
Rabbi Yochanan says, from the words “G-d, will open for you …” we know that the key for rain was never handed to any messengers, and is always in the hands of G-d.” Rabbi Yochanan further tells us, three keys are exclusively in the hands of G-d, and are never handed over to messengers, the key to rain, the key to childbirth and the key to resurrection of the dead.”
The Talmud adds to the above statement, “The wise men of Israel added to the above three keys, the key to earning a livelihood.” This too is exclusively in the hands of G-d.
It’s not that the wise men of Israel discovered another key which Rabbi Yochanan was not aware of. According to Rabbi Yochanan the key to rain, includes the key to G-d providing a person a livelihood. Providing rain, includes all sustenance for the world. According to the wise men of Israel, earning a living is a separate group, different than when G-d provides rain.
Whether its rain or a livelihood, the two expressions describe sustenance and nourishment that is needed for a person. The difference is, rain is visibly something from heaven. As the Bible says, “I will give the rains in its proper times.” There is no question that humans have no input on when water will fall from the heavens. While the word “livelihood”, implies a persons involvement and active participation to receive the blessing from above in the way of, earnings.
When it rains, any thinking individual acknowledges and recognizes that this blessing is G-ds doing and all the thanks are His. However when a person earns money, since there is the involvement and participation of a persons efforts, it allows a person to think that it is his effort that produces or stands in the way to his earning a little or a lot of money.
A person must always remember the truth of the matter and the reality of things. “It is G-d who gives you strength to succeed”, and the relative small effort on our part to bring money home, is like putting a vessel to catch whatever G-d decided to dispense for us.The only reason we work is not because there is no other way for G-d to provide, it is only because G-d commanded us, “six day you shall work…..” and “I will bless you in all that you do”. G-d decided, He is going to provide us through our effort to receive. It’s never that our effort, makes the money.
This is the difference of opinion between Rabbi Yochanan and the wise men of Israel.
According to Rabbi Yochanan, earning a living – has absolutely no role in how much money we make. Putting out buckets to collect rain has no affect on how much water is falling from heaven. The rain comes entirely from G-ds decision. The same is also with how much money we earn. It’s like opening a tap to receive whatever water is there. Making a wider tap or leaving it open any longer makes absolutely no difference to how much water is in the tap.
The wise men of Israel felt, it is true, that a person’s effort makes no impact on how much money he will earn, similar to rain that falls from heaven. It is only because G-d commanded that we work. When we make an effort to earn a living to fulfill this desire of G-d, and we realize that it’s not that inherent in work is making money, our working becomes a mission of G-d.
For this reason they considered earning a living a separate key, and it is entirely in the hands of G-d. The job we find, the health we have at working, the success we have at work, is all a key and mission exclusively in the hands of G-d.
This realistic and healthy attitude liberates a person from any worries stress and anxiousness, and this personal redemption prepares the world at large for the upcoming worldwide redemption of our holy righteous Moshiach.
To read more articles from Rabbi Ezagui visit him at http://koshercaffeine.blogspot.com/