Friday, January 29, 2010

It's Not About the Money - Kol Brisk on Parshas B'Shalach

לעלוי נשמת הגאון הר"ר אהרן בן הר"ר משה הלוי סאלאווייציק זצ"לפרשת בשלח

How to Change Money into Mon from Heaven


Just Some Food for Thought

"הרבה שלוחין יש לו למקום להכין מזון ליראיו" (רש"י)

The following story was told over by Y.:

We were preparing for the Shabbos Bar Mitzvah Kiddush of our son. We had just moved back into our newly renovated home that week. There was a lot of work to do on that shortest Friday of the year. We had ordered a large Yerushalmi Kugel for the Kiddush from a caterer whom we had used on previous occasions for similar orders.

At 1:15, amidst all the preparations, I suddenly realized that the kugel had not yet arrived. All the businesses were usually closed by now. I called the store. The owners had gone home, and the cleaner gave me the home number. I called them at home. They said they really wondered why we hadn’t come to pick it up. They even waited an extra fifteen minutes for us. It seems that they forgot that they had always delivered in the past..

The Bar Mitzvah was a beautiful celebration. We had soda and pastries.

The moral of the story:
A Bar Mitzvah is not a kugel.

“Money is the root of all evil”, the classic saying goes. Is this true? What does the Torah say about this?

It is interesting to note the how the expression “I have” translates into Lashon HaKodesh. It really does not. יש לי means “There is to me”. I am not the subject, but the object, the recipient. There is only One Owner, the Master of the Universe, רבון כל העולמים, אדון כל הנשמות. He gives us all the blessings, all of what we have. He gives it to us, and cautions us to use it wisely and not to abuse people with it.

When do material blessings become problematic? Only when we take them and attach a rigid, unflexible, distended, expansive and unhealthy ego to it. “A Bar Mitzvah is a kugel” is a very unhealthy attitude. It can cause the mother of the Bar Mitzvah tremendous frustration and stress.

However, that is only between myself and I.

Much more problematic is when I start dictating reality to others based on my distortion. When I start imposing “A Bar Mitzvah is a kugel” on those recipients of my money or my resources, things become very complicated.

This is a lesson for parents in their relationship with married children. It also must be understood by balabatim who give financial support to a Yeshiva. It also applies to anyone extending any kind of material assistance to others. Their function is only to give financial support and not to interfere, dominate, or rule . Those that attempt to make judgments, to interfere or to dominate create a situation in which fragmentation, disharmony and conflict are built in to its very definition. This is not support. This is an act of hostility and abuse.

Life is not money. Life is about love, communication, and healthy relationships.

Money can be a vehicle to great Bracha. The Vilna Gaon, moments before he passed on to the Olam HaEmes, cried about the mitzvos that we can only buy in Olam Hazeh just for a few pennies.

Money can easily be transformed into astounding spiritual acquisitions. Health, Mitzvos, Tzedakah, Chessed, Torah..

We should just let go, remove our possessive and unhealthy ego.
Because money subtract שלי (mine) = Mon.
Yes, manna from heaven.

A gutten Erev Shabbos
From Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh

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