[Avodah] The value of working hard while relying on the blessing of Providence in seeking a livelihood

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Tue Jan 11 14:03:10 PST 2022

On Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 03:07:11PM +0000, Prof. L. Levine via Avodah wrote:
> Today I am getting messages saying, "Our Sages say that reciting “Parshat HaMan” on the Tuesday of Parshat Beshalach is a Segula (spiritually invoking action) for a good income."

I am not happy with how much attention we pay segulos in general.

The famous quote from Antignos Ish Sokho (Avos 1:3): "Do not be like the
servants who serve their master in order to get reward" is not the most
extreme expression of this idea.

You really get an idea about how off transactional Judaism is from the
gemara (BB 10b):
    A beraisa: Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai said to his students: My children
    what does the verse mean when it says ... "and the lovingkindness of
    nations is sin"? (Mishlei 14:34) All righteousness and lovingkindness
    that the idolatrous nations do is a sin for them. For they do not
    act except to aggrandize themselves with it. Like it says, "That
    they may sacrifice offerings of pleasing aroma to the God of heaven
    and pray for the life of the king and of his sons." (Ezra 6:10)

Aku"m worship their gods to get things in exchange. Thunder is scary,
so make sure your thunder god is well fed and massage his ego, so he
won't smite you. Or rain, the sun, war...

This kind of transactional religion is literally Chazal's defining
feature of idolatry.

It is one thing if we keep segulos to means of acting out tefillah. And
as a minor frill atop the core. But the amount of attention they get in
some circles troubles me.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Despair is the worst of ailments. No worries
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   are justified except: "Why am I so worried?"
Author: Widen Your Tent                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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