Prosperity- From Hashem To Us by Rabbi Hershel Solnica zt"l


         In the last Parsha of Sefer Vayikra, Parshas Bechukosai, the Torah states that if Bnai Yisrael keep the Mitzvos, then "ונתתי גשמיכם בעתם," "I shall give your rain in its proper time" (ויקרא כ"ו:ד').  Rabbi Peretz Steinberg, in his Sefer פרי עץ החיים, asks why the Torah says "I shall give your rain," גשמיכם.  It should rather state גשמים, rain or גשמי, my (Hashem's) rain.

            There is a very interesting approach, towards understanding Hashem's gifts in life.  Before they are handed over to us, they belong to Hashem; they are ביד ה', in His hand to give or to refuse to give.  After they have been transmitted to us, however, it is then up to us to use properly and not to abuse these Divine gifts.

            We can appreciate this idea more clearly when each of us acknowledges when reciting Adon Olam, that בידו אפקיד רוחי, in Hashem's hand I place my breath.  Our very life is a gift from Hashem and we are challenged to use it properly.  After we have received the gift of life and all the גשמוות, the material bounty, that it is in our hands, Hashem commands us "פתח תפתח את ידך" "open your hands and give to the poor" (דברים ט"ו:ז) and "נתן תתן," give of your possessions (שם פסוק י').  Only when we express the readiness to share with others have we demonstrated that what we have is truly ours.

            Our Rabbis surely had this idea in mind when they underscored (פרק ד' משנה א'), saying, איזו עשיר השמח בחלקו, who is rich? he who enjoys and appreciates the share that Hashem has given him.  The word עשיר, rich, is spelled ע,ש,י,ר which is interpreted by Chazal to represent עינים, שינים, ידים, רגלים, eyes, teeth, hands, and feet, basic gifts for one to enjoy life.  One who has them is indeed an עשיר.  As soon as we learn to appreciate the gift of life and not take it for granted, we can only then properly use Hashem's Berachos to the best of our ability and thereby make them truly our own.

            Rashi in explaining the phrase in the Posuk "אם בחוקותי תלכו" if you will follow my statutes (ויקרא כ"ו:ג'), says שתהיו עמלים בתורה, meaning that one must work hard in observing the Torah.  The lesson is clearly, that the real hard work begins after Hashem has blessed us with good health and lots of money, possessions, and so on.  It is then that we must work hard to be successful in Torah, which guides us as to how to properly use these gifts.  The true sign of a good person, a "mentsch" is the ability to appreciate the wealth and to share it with one's fellow human being.  Naturally, all of us, in a Yeshiva setting, as anywhere else, make mistakes, principles, teachers, students and parents alike.  That is precisely why we must all strive to always improve and be עמלים בתורה, working at success in Torah.  This is the only way to guarantee that we will continue to be blessed.חזק חזק ונתחזק  !!

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