I know that later in the fall, IY"H, I'll be working very long hours. This sounds like I'm falling right into the yetzer hara's trap. On the other hand, since I cannot think of any alternative right now which wouldn't constiute a dereliction of my duties as a husband, father and Jew, how could I not do what I'm planning to do?
The root of all of the desires, pleasures, and ways of this world are "gold" and "silver." Money is the means through which one can attain all of the desires and pleasures of this world. But their source in the upper world are Ahava (love of Hashem, in the case of silver) and Yirah (fear of Hashem, in the case of gold). [Reb Nachum then proves this with various verses] Since gold and silver are rooted in Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem, the verse "Mine is the silver and mine is the gold," (Chagai 2:8) applies to it. And "mine = for my sake." Meaning that silver (love, desires) and gold (fear and anxiety) are meant as means to come to love of Hashem and Yiras Hashem.
When man desires gold and silver, runs after it day and night wihtout rest, chases after his livelihood, and amasses wealth, he falls into the trap of the yetzer hara. This in turn results in one being cut off continually from the Creator of the world. This is a trap laid out before all of the living. In fact, most people in the world come to sin by cutting into others' livelihood, hurting others financially, stealing, and the like. Such people do not believe in the fact that everyone has only what Hashem desires them to have and has absolutely nothing from anyone else (Yuma 38b). This is why the 600,000 letters of the Torah (which correspond to the 600,000 souls of the Jewish people) cannot touch one another in a Sefer Torah; because even though the Torah is one unit, each letter (and Jewish soul) is separate and one may not touch that which is designated for another person. (Ibid.)
If one is smart and knows and believes this (that all of the desires and fears of this world are meant as means to assist one in drawing himself close to the root of those desires and fears, Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem), then he would not run after his livelihood day and night. And as Shlomo Hamelech (source?) said, "אם לא היה האדם רודף אחר פרנסתו, היה פרנסתו רודפת אחריו." "If one would not chase after his livelihood, his livelihood would run after him."
It is the nature of things on a lower level to run after things on a higher level to be nullified into them and elevated through them. The majority of the world who run after the physical world, and are cut off from Hashem, place themselves on a lower level than the physical things of this world, which are rooted in the highest levels of Ahava and Yirah. Therefore, they run after gold, silver, and livelihood all of the time because those things exist on a higher level than them.
But a Jewish soul that is connected to the Creator of the world and runs after Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem directly (as opposed to running after making a living, gold, and silver, etc.) is thereby connected to the ultimate source. Such a person is therefore on a higher level than all of the gold and silver which are less connected to the Divine source than this Jew is because they are a more constricted (lower) form of that light. This is why this person's livelihood runs after him; because he is on a higher level than it is.
If a person does as he should do, as we mentioned above, the livelihood which is designated to him will run after him so that it can be elevated through him to its root from which it came...
I think at my current level of lack of connectedness to Hashem, if I tried to go back to not working too hard, it would not work in any case. My wife pointed out an analogy to what is says in Eruvin 13b, that when one runs after gedula, gedula runs away, but if one runs away from gedula, gedula persues him. She correctly pointed out that when one runs away from greatness, but is looking over his shoulder, hoping greatness will follow, he is still essentially running after it. Here too, if I did not pursue a livelihood fully, hoping that it would chase after me, I would essentially still be running after it and would certainly not merit Shlomo Hamelech's (?) promise!
I'm not sure there are any real answers here. The best I can figure it, if I can remind myself in tiny hisbodedus'n through each day that everything I'm running after are rooted in Elokus and if I ask Hashem constantly to help me elevate the hidden Elokus in everything I'm involved in to its source, then maybe I'll increase my connecttion to Hashem. And if do that, maybe in a few years some non-hishtadlus-intensive parnasa will just come knocking at my door, just begging me to leave the rat race behind and spend a lot more time on Avodas Hashem... Who knows...
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