12 Cheshvan 5782 / Monday, October 18, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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Six Plus One    

Six Plus One

A businessman who claims that his busiest day of the week is the Sabbath is mistaken. He will see neither pleasure nor benefit from seventh-day “profits.”


People in previous generations earned their wages on a daily basis, spending it on what was needed for the moment. For example, one would make a few dollars, then go out to the marketplace and buy food, candles, and logs of wood that were intended for use later that night. There were no refrigerators or freezers. You purchased your needs for the current day and no more. There were no monthly electric or utility bills to pay. No one had to pay for plumbing and insurance. Someone who was able to support himself today would also be able to support himself the following day.
Life nowadays has changed drastically and Hashem therefore runs the world in a slightly different manner. People buy in bulk and pay recurring monthly bills. Therefore, instead of someone not needing to worry from day-to-day, someone need not worry from month to month. Hashem was able to provide for us this month, so we must have emuna that Hashem will provide for us next month as well.
“And they gathered it morning by morning, each man according to the amount he ate, and when the sun came out, it melted” (Exodus, 16:21).
From the Torah’s account of the manna, the Heaven-sent bread that sustained Israel for forty years in the desert, we learn that while making a living is completely and entirely determined by Hashem’s will, and that Hashem is able to support us 100% without us having to put forth any effort whatsoever—a person still must not be lazy. Hashem does not support those who are lazy.
We learn this from in the double usage of the word “morning.” The Children of Israel had to wake up extremely early to collect the manna—before sunrise! If they waited until the sun came out, the manna melted. To put this in perspective, when the sun would rise at about 5 A.M. in the summer, the Children of Israel would have to wake up around 3 in the morning so that they’d have adequate time to collect enough manna for their families. This applied to an even greater degree for the wicked people who had to travel a long distance outside the camp in order to collect their portions.
Why did Hashem require the Children of Israel to wake up so early in order to collect the manna? The poor soul who overslept had nothing to eat that day! Let’s probe even further: The manna was miraculous anyway, so why didn’t Hashem give them their food at a more convenient time? Why not pamper them completely?
The well-known saying says, “He who arise early, his fortune rises with him. He who sleeps late, his fortune sleeps as well.” Hashem wants to teach us a lesson for all generations—the lesson of alacrity and diligence. Someone one who rises early will see profit from his work. Someone who is lazy and is a late riser loses his portion of wealth for the day.
There is a spiritual concept that says, “The actions of fathers are a lesson for their children for generations to come.” Diligence that succeeded in the desert succeeds also nowadays. Someone who wants to make a living cannot be lazy. Despite the fact that the manna fell miraculously from the sky, a person still had to be agile in collecting his portion; that meant waking up early in the morning and making the necessary efforts.
A person cannot by any means stay home and do nothing, roll his eyes while gazing skyward and declare that he trusts Hashem. Such a person is a fool. He must get up early and fly out of bed!
Even if a person has no job, he must still wake up early and pound the pavement. Moping around at home is triply problematic: It’s depressing, it causes missed prayers and learning sessions, and it prolongs unemployment. One who has no job should still arise early, go to synagogue, and pray with a public quorum. After praying, he should say take a few minutes to pray in his own words and ask his Father in Heaven for a means to make a living. Doing so will ensure that with the help of Hashem, he’ll will find a source of income. In this manner, one will surely be blessed with a job.
Waking up late and staying home all day does terrible damage to a person’s physical health, marriage, and any possible success he might have.
So, we have six days to hustle, but the account of the manna says that we chill on the seventh day:
“Six days you shall gather [the manna] and on the Seventh day, which is Sabbath there won’t be any. And it was on the seventh day, and the nation went out to collect and they did not find any. And Hashem said to Moses, how long will you refuse to observe my commandments and teachings? See that Hashem has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day He gives you bread for two days; let each man remain in his place—let no man leave his place on the seventh day. So the nation rested on the seventh day” (Exodus, 16: 26-30).
These verses teach a great lesson—on the Sabbath there is no such thing as making money. Someone who claims that his busiest day of the week is the Sabbath is greatly mistaken. He will see neither pleasure nor benefit from those “profits.” While it may seem at first that he is making money, this is not the case. He will lose it through various seemingly “unnecessary” hardships. On the contrary, a person who keeps the Sabbath will make much more during the week than he would have otherwise. This is the way Hashem runs the world—plain and simple.
Moses said, “See that Hashem has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day, He gives you bread for two days…” Moses explained to the Children of Israel that it made no sense for Hashem to command the Jews to desist from all work unless He had a system set up which ensured that they would be taken care on that day as well. Hashem does not require the impossible – if He wants us to observe the Sabbath, then He has created a mechanism that enables us to do exactly that.
Dear reader, think deeply about the implications of the above verses. In them, Moses expresses his displeasure at the actions of those who lack trust in Hashem. His words echo throughout the generations and he may as well be speaking directly to us. “How long will you continue to refuse to observe Hashem’s commandments?! What are you all so worried about? Making a living? Hashem will give you today enough for tomorrow, just let each man stay in his place!” And what is the next verse? “And the Jews rested on the seventh day…

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