56. Ana HASHEM

A story is told about a chassidishe rebbe who one of his chassidim had been wealthy and he had lost all of his money. And he had $1,000 left to his name. And he comes to the rebbe and says Rebbe, Rebbe, what do I do? I’m a broken man, I have $1,000 left. I had been tremendously wealthy, what do I do? The Rebbe said don’t worry, listen to me very carefully. When it comes Rosh Chodesh (new month), during hallel you say the words ana Hashem, and you say it with more kavanah (intent) than you ever had in your life. Say ana Hashem with all your intention and all of your energy. And then the first business deal that comes to you take the $1,000 and invest in it, and you’ll have my berachah (blessing), you’ll do well.

A few weeks later the chassid comes back and says Rebbe, I followed your advice and it failed. I went to shul (synagogue), I said ana Hashem, I then met somebody who had a business deal, I took my $1,000, I invested it, and I lost everything. It didn’t work. The Rebbe said what do you mean? Rebbe, I did what you said! The Rebbe said how could that be? The Rebbe said tell me something, you said ana Hashem, tell me exactly what you said. Rebbe, I said exactly what you told me to say, ana Hashem hatzlicha na, please Hashem, let me succeed. Oy, the Rebbe said, that wasn’t what I meant. I meant when you say in hallel ana Hashem ki ani avdecha, please Hashem, because I’m your servant.

And what the Rebbe was sharing with this chassid was when I go into the workplace I am a servant of Hashem. I am serving Hashem in the way He wants me to. I’m not taking care of my needs, I’m not out there for my self-aggrandizement to become wealthy, I’m using the world in the ways of the world because Hashem wants me to. And when I daven (pray) I ask Hashem for help. I ask Hashem for help to be an eved Hashem (servant of G-d). I need to earn a living because as a Jew that’s part of my obligation. I have to take care of my family; I have to take care of my needs. But I am a full-time servant of Hashem. Everything that I do is a mitzvah (commandment). Everything that I do is because Hashem wants me to, and I go into the workplace with the same intention as an eved Hashem, as I do everything in my life. That’s being a full-time Jew.