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Mazal: 3 Things that Depend on…Fate

Published on Monday April 5th, 2021

Rava said (Talmud, Moed Katan 28a): "Life, children, and sustenance are not given in return for merit, but depend on fate", although these are the three most significant elements in the life of a man. Rav Chisda and Rava were both great Sages who prayed for rain and were answered. Yet Rav Chisda lived 92 years and Rava only 40 years! In Rav Chisda's home there were 60 celebrations and in Rava's, there were 60 misfortunes! In Rav Chisda's home, there was even bread made from fine flour for dogs, while in Rava's home there was not even black bread to feed man! The Ramchal, in his book Da'at Tevuna, explains that the world is run in two ways: The first is a divine decree and escapes our understanding. Even the prophets could not understand their way in which Heaven distributes to each soul its part in the repair of Creation. The second is based on the principle of reward and punishment, depending on the actions of each person.

There is poverty and poverty.

There is poverty whose source is a divine decree, according to the role given to man before his birth, and there is poverty given as a punishment for bad behavior. Man can modify this sentence by the force of his prayer or by repenting. On the other hand, to modify a celestial decision fixed before birth, man must accumulate many merits and multiply his prayers, like Chana, the mother of Shmuel, when she wanted to have a son.

When our Sages say, "The people of Israel are not subject to fate," it is in reference to the stars and constellations that spread abundance or poverty in the world. With the help of Torah study and prayers, the people of Israel are able to return the situation favorably because it is not subject to the influence of stars and constellations.

Some things escape the understanding of man

However, some things escape the understanding of man and if a man sees that things are not proceeding as he would like, he should not be irritated.

A man travels by bus and inquiries about the details of the trip.

"This bus is heading to Elad," informs the driver.

"And what is the price of the trip?", he asks.

"Six shekels."

Satisfied with the cheap cost, he sits down and looks out of the window. Suddenly, a strange vision causes him to get up and poke his head out of the window: he notices that some travelers are already getting off the bus in the city center.

"Hey, there, listen," he shouts, "why are you getting off now? For the same price, you can travel to Elad!"

One of them nominated himself to answer on behalf of all the others: "Thank you very much for your concern... However, we now need to be here ... That's the best thing for us, we have no need to travel to Elad."

The same principle applies to our world.

A world in which some 'get off' from 'the bus' in the middle of life and we shout, surprised: "Why did you interrupt your trip? ... It is such a pity?". They respond with a serene smile: "This is what suits us now. The place where we are now is the best for us."

The Torah-Box Team - © Torah-Box Account

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