The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 11 June 2005 / 4 Sivan 5765

Heaven-sent Surprise

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

"God has many emissaries and many ways to take care of us."

This is the conclusion reached by a reader of Ohrnet magazine from a personal experience she shared with us in a letter she wrote to us. It was in regard to an article in our Parshat Pekudei "Whats the Right Thing to Do?" column about cab drivers who were advised that they could offer to take a passenger with a strongly unpleasant body odor on the condition that he compensate them for the income they would lose while waiting for the smell to fade and be able to take other passengers.

After taking issue with this advice and reminding cab drivers that livelihood is determined from Above, she writes this about her own experience:

"In the first years after we got married, my husband and I went through some hard times. For a while neither of us could find a job. The job my husband finally found was as a salesman. He traveled around the country and called on businesses and other institutions. He was paid on commission.

At a certain point, my husband had to decide whether he was going to work during Chol Hamoed. On the one hand, we were barely on our feet financially. On the other hand, we really could not say that there was halachic justification for his working. He decided that he would take Chol Hamoed off, and we would somehow manage without the weeks earnings. When my husband came back to work after the end of the holiday, he was amazed to discover that, while he was away, one of his customers (a business owned, in fact, by a religious Jew who was justified in working during Chol Hamoed because his business produced basic foodstuffs) had phoned in an order an order so large that it made up for the week of not working."

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