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Tzav: Let Wealth Come to You

Published on Thursday March 21th, 2019

It’s a well-known fact that honors and fortune are often the lots of those who turn away from them. When a man does not pursue or crave for wealth, the latter often seek him out “on their own”, while they might elude a man who obsesses and craves to become rich.

This principle is best understood via the following story:

A man who had lost his previous high status was experiencing financial challenges. He lived in a town where a magnate, known for his generosity, also resided.  He decided to go to the magnate’s house to request, either as a loan or gift, a sum of ten pieces of gold. But when he reached the magnate’s residence, the guard refused to let him in.

So, he decided to wait outside for the rich man to come out of the house so he could personally address him.

While he waited, resting on a wall under a window, the maid, who had no way of knowing someone was there, emptied the trash directly over the head of the poor man. The latter was so upset, he decided to surrender and head for home.

On his way back home, his eyes fell on a precious gem. He took it and sold it for one thousand gold coins. His distress had turned into joy. He said to himself that Providence acts in mysterious ways. Men had made a trash can of him in order to apply the words of the verse: “He elevates the poor from the garbage”.

After two short years, our man found himself in difficulty yet again.  He decided to visit the rich man one more time in order to request ten gold coins. This time, the guard was absent and the door was wide open. However, once he set out to enter the rich man’s residence, a thought came to his mind: perhaps it was a better idea not to go inside the house. He would be content to wait beneath the window for the maid to throw out the garbage like the previous time. The verse “He elevates the poor from the garbage” would certainly apply to him again and he would find another gem to resolve his financial problem.

The thought led to action, and here was our man again, standing beneath the window, waiting for the garbage to be poured upon his head. But good fortune was not on his side. Several hours went by but here, patience did not pay. At some point, the rich man exited his house to go to the market and found our man, sitting on the floor beneath the window: “What are you doing here, why didn’t you come in?” The latter replied: “ I came here to become the recipient of your garbage”. And the man recounted his previous adventure before concluding:

“This is why you see me sitting here, waiting to become the object of the verse: “He pulls the poor man from the garbage”.

The rich man told him: “You are making a mistake. The previous time, the garbage and the gem came to you without your knowledge or expectation. You did not wish to become a garbage can and you didn’t know you would find a gem.

In fact, heaven decided for you. But now that you wish to achieve all this by the power of your will, you will get neither garbage nor gem”.

Thus, honors and wealth come to man as if of their own “volition”. It’s a waste of time to pursue them. All efforts and endeavors of the imagination to acquire wealth are futile.

Thus, we learn from Parshat Tzav: “This is the rule of the Holocaust”.

In the holy tongue, the word holocaust is called “ola”, which also means, that which is elevated. An expression which can also be understood as “that which elevates itself”. This means that the ola elevates itself on its own, without man’s interference or stubborn pursuit (Od Yosef Chai).

Rav David HADDAD - © Torah-Box Account

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