Money says: “earn me forget everything” Time says: “follow me forget everything “Future says: “struggle for me forget everything” HaShem simply says “Remember Me and I will give you everything”
One of the core methods through which HaShem’s hashgacha p’ratit (Divine Providence) is manifested is through His granting parnassa (earning potential) – the daily sustenance of His creatures, especially mankind. Countless passages in Tanach address this very point. One of the more prominent ones is recited thrice daily in the Ashrei prayer (Psalm 145): "Potei’ach et yadecha umasbi’a l’chol chai ratzon – You open up your hand and satisfy with favor all living creatures".
Hashgacha Pratit, or Divine Providence, refers to HaShem’s supervision and governance of every action and aspect of the world in which we live. Nothing in life happens by chance, coincidence, or due to the fickleness of others. However, the Hashgacha Pratit may sometimes be manifest overtly, and at other times it is operative within the seemingly natural order of the world.
Hashgacha Pratit is part of the story of our lives, HaShem reveals to us the miraculous way that He conducts our world even though at times it may be concealed from the human eye (Think of the stories in the Bible of Rachav, Ruth, Purim, etc).
The Talmud, gemara in Brochot (33b) states, “Everything is from Heaven except for the fear of Heaven,” meaning that all that happens within the world has been divinely decreed. Throughout our lives we are beneficiaries of HaShem’s special protection, for we know that everything that exists in the world has been created for us. Moreover, even the challenges that a person experiences in his life are bequeathed by HaShem in order to foster his spiritual growth and development, as the Besorah Tovah (Good News) says: Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. "
The Baal Shem Tov was once sitting together with his talmidim, when he suddenly erupted in laughter. The talmidim could not imagine what had triggered such mirth. The Baal Shem Tov explained that in a distant land, for the last sixteen years, an eminent ruler had workers building a magnificent palace for him. In fact, it was not entirely completed yet. A Jew had been walking by the palace during a storm, when it intensified in strength, and big rocks of hail and sleet began to forcefully fall from the skies. The Jew, fearing for his life, ran under the elegant porticos for protection from the onslaught of hailstones. After the storm had subsided, the Jew emerged from his cover to continue on his way. As soon as he left his shelter, the entire structure came crashing to the ground. “I could not contain my laughter,” continued the Baal Shem Tov, “as my whole being rejoiced.” The episode was incredible, but the inspiration was awesome. “How could I not be deeply moved by the realization that the sole reason for the construction of this edifice was in order to save the Jew from the harsh elements. And the moment that its usefulness ended, the entire palace fell into ruins.” (Derech Emunah)
Our parnassa will never have permanence if achieved by violating the Word of HaShem. This is manifest by the manah’s getting worms for those who attempted to leave some over for the next day against the Divine command. Similarly, money earned through dishonest business practices or other violations of Torah will have no permanence. We need to constantly remind ourselves that it is HaShem who provides for us through the agency of our efforts. It is not our efforts which produce the sustenance.
Hishtadlut, human effort, is generally necessary – even the manah had to be collected and, according to the simple reading of the text, had to be prepared (16:23) – excessive hishtadlut does not lead to extra parnassa. This concept emerges from the fact that "he, who took more, did not have more; he who took less, did not receive less" A careful analysis reveals that the amount of hishtadlut necessary varies according to the measure of bitachon (one’s trust in God). However, the need for hishtadlut is thus directly proportional to the degree of bitachon. It is forbidden to rely on miracles, meaning, you must work to earn a living, but you must have bitachon in HaShem to know that you do not have to compromise to earn a living, keeping kasher, observing Shabbat, and many others are not to be broken to earn a parnassa. We must remember that HaShem is the sole provider and that he is ruling over everything, including your boss! Anything that you may be asked to do that is contrary to HaShem’s will is ONLY a test of faith, for you to know what is in your heart.
How important it is for us to internalize this idea in regard to nothing happens without a Heavenly decree. "Cast your burden upon HaShem and He will support you."
Whe we are in need of Refuah (healing), of Parnassa (livelyhood/work), and Hashgacha Pratis (divine providence). Through our prayers we can express our needs. Of course HaShem knows best what we need, but despite this he wants us to pray our hearts out. By returning to one’s innermost self (teshuvah), by attaching oneself to HaShem (tefillah) and by distributing one’s possessions with righteousness (tzedakah), one turns harsh judgments into sweet happenings.
Can HaShem really find a quick way out of my miserable predicament?" No one likes to take the bad, even if it is for our own good. These struggles cast a shadow over our emunah. Then, just as we are slipping away HaShem sends us a very subtle message. The trick is to read it the right way. By creating a series of amazing coincidences that seem like our troubles are about to end, HaShem is telling us, "My dear child, I know all about you and haven’t forgotten you. When the time comes I know how to find you and I will know how to save you. Just like I turned the world upside down now I will do it again when the situation is right for you. Until then please be patient and keep believing."
Emunah story: The Mishnaic sage Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa was a renowned miracle worker. Shortly after sunset one Friday evening, he noticed his daughter sobbing. Upon asking her the reason for her distress, she explained that she had mistakenly lit the Shabbat candles with vinegar instead of oil. Rabbi Chanina comforted his daughter: "Do not be troubled, my dear. The One who commanded oil to burn will command vinegar to burn…" Needless to say, the candles did not go out. In fact, they burned until the following night, when the havdallah candle (candle which accompanies the Saturday night ceremony signaling the end of the Shabbat) was kindled from their flames!
My friend Victor is a Messianic believer in Denver, Colorado. He was to go to the movies on the night of the shooting, but before he left for the movies he fell to sleep in his house only to wake up after the shooting! He was spare by HaShem, HaShem’s providence!
So the next time your struggling with parnassa, your kids, your health, marriage, or whatever, and your lucky coincidence turns out to be a not such a lucky coincidence, look up a smile and say, "Thanks HaShem! Thanks for watching over me." This should give a boost to your patience and emunah until you boat finally does come in.
Everything HaShem does is for the best! If the swaying of a blade of grass is brought about by Hashgacha Pratit and is crucial to the fulfillment of the purpose of Creation, how much more so with regard to mankind in general, and B’nei Yisrael (the people close to him) in particular! (Hayom Yom).
Tags: 33b, beneficiaries, chai, chol, coincidence, divine providence, fickleness, gemara, growth and development, HaShem, human eye, mankind, person experiences, psalm 145, Purim, romans 8, spiritual growth, story of our lives, sustenance, talmud
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