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Burst of Inspiration

63. Adding Another Spigot


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In the Chafetz Chaim’s time there were unfortunately people who were very tempted to violate Shabbos, to open their stores on Shabbos, and it became a big issue. And he once gave a mashal (parable). Imagine you have a barrel of wine, and at the bottom of the barrel is a spigot. When you want to drain the wine from the barrel you open the spigot and from it comes the wine. Let’s say a man decides he really wants a lot of wine, so instead of putting in one spigot he puts another one. And he says ah, now I’m going to get way more wine, because I don’t just have one flow, I have two. Obviously, putting another faucet on the bottom of the barrel isn’t going to increase the amount of wine in the barrel. You’re only going to get exactly the amount of wine that’s in the barrel, whether it’s coming through one faucet or two.

Explains the Chafetz Chaim, Hashem determines how much money a person is to make, if you work six days a week or if you work seven. Nowhere do you have a right to assume that if you’re going to add another day to your workload Hashem is going to say, ah, you’re working more? Yes, I’m going to give you more money. The exact dollar amount you are to make is set. Opening another spigot, working another day is not going to add to it.

The basics of our understanding is that Hashem determines how much money I am to make. And whether it’s working on Shabbos or being a little dishonest, or working too hard, or doing anything that clearly the Torah doesn’t want me to do, I have to understand that exactly the amount of money I am to make I will make. And if I act in a way that Hashem doesn’t want me to, whether it’s lying, stealing, cheating or working too hard, I have to understand that what I’m really trying to do is open another faucet. No more wine than what’s in the barrel is going to come out. I’m not going to make a penny more because of those efforts.

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