Ethics

For the week ending 14 July 2007 / 28 Tammuz 5767

Pushing the Train

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: I am aware of the importance of setting some time each day for the study of Torah. The trouble is that I have to spend long hours earning a livelihood and am too exhausted at the end of my workday to do any studying. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: A similar question was once put to the Chafetz Chaim by the owner of a Warsaw hotel where he lodged. In response, the sage told him a parable about a villager traveling to the capital to present a matter to some high officials. Brooding over his fear that the train he was on was moving too slowly, he impatiently jumped up from his seat, rolled up his sleeves, and began pushing against the front wall of his coach. Asked by his fellow passengers as to why he was so exerting himself, he replied that he was in a hurry to reach his destination, and was pushing to make the train go faster.

As silly as it may seem for an impatient passenger to think that he can make the train go faster by pushing, it is no less absurd for a person to think that his livelihood depends entirely on how much he pushes himself.

Try putting aside some time for Torah study and you will discover that Heaven will provide you and your family with what has been decreed for them on Rosh Hashanah without an extra push from you.

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