Burst of Inspiration

49. Making Ends Meet

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There is a man who I know well who was the executive director for a large yeshivah. And as the executive director, obviously he was very involved in tuitions. Most of the families in that school asked for tuition assistance, so he was well aware of what each family earned. And I asked him the following. What does it cost to live? What does it cost the average family of five, six, seven, eight kids, paying tuition, taking care of a mortgage, what does it cost to live? Now, this was a number of years ago and he said it cost at least $150,000. And I said to him wow, that’s quite a substantial amount. Tell me, of the thousand or so families that are in your yeshivah, how many are earning that dollar amount? And he said to me about half. And I said ah-hah, what about the rest? If they’re not earning enough to live on, if $150,000 is the minimum amount to live on, and they’re not earning it, what happens to them? He says it’s a good question. I said, well, tell me, how many people do you know of who lost their homes? He thought for a moment and he said you know, I once heard about someone who lost their home.

And what I took from that is a tremendous lesson. Hashem runs the world. It’s true, it costs an awful lot of money, and in today’s dollars far more than that, to live in a Jewish way, in a Jewish family. And many times a person may say how is it possible? How could I possibly earn enough money? Even with myself working and my wife, we can’t possibly earn enough to pay the bills. And the answer is my obligation is to go about this world in the way Hashem wants me to. I have to be responsible, I have to be very prudent, I have to put in my best effort. But the reality is that I may not be able to make it. I have to rely on Hashem. I have to do as much as I can in the ways of the world, I have to have a financial plan, and I have to rely on Hashem to be able to fill in the rest. I have to use this world the way Hashem wants me to; I also have to recognize that it could be that I won’t always be able to make it, but Hashem obviously wants me to succeed. I trust in Hashem, I rely on Hashem to fill in what I can’t do.

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