by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Yesterday, a young rabbi came up to me at the Kotel and asked a most important question.
He asked me, “What should I do?”
He had been offered a job teaching Torah in a small yeshiva that overlooks the Kotel and the Temple Mount. It is a really nice yeshiva, warm, small, spiritual, in short, a wonderful place to teach and learn. In fact, you could not find a better place to be. After he told me about the job offer, I told him how wonderful that job would be for him. It would be especially good for his spiritual life, living and learning here in the Old City. He would grow tremendously.
But then he told me about another job offer he received. Apparently, he is a sought-after teacher. “The other job,” he said, “is in England. I would have the opportunity to reach thousands of Jews there.”
“Then, there is no question,” I said. “You have to go where you can help the most people. You will grow more by helping them than you would if you stayed here and worked on yourself.”
“But there is a third offer,” he continued. “I have been offered a job teaching in America where I could also reach a lot of Jews. What do you think I should do?”
His asking me such an important question is not such an unusual thing to do. Even though I am not his father, nor his teacher, we are told to seek out advice from a trustworthy friend.
I told him, “You have an English accent. You should go to England where you are accustomed to their ways. What about your wife?” I asked.
He said that she is from England, too. I said, “Then there is no doubt. You should go to England, where your wife will be the most happy. There is nothing more important than that.”
In this short exchange, we see three important principles: 1) Go where you can help the most people, 2) go where you are familiar with the customs, 3) go where your wife will be happy. If you do these three things, your chances of success will be greatly increased.
This is, or was, the end of the story. At least that’s what I thought, until the next afternoon, when the young rabbi came up to me at the Kotel with a big smile on his face.
He said, “When I left you yesterday, I was thinking, ‘Why should I listen to him?’ Just then a father walked by and loudly scolded his son. He said, ‘What? Do I have it to explain to you… and at your age?’”
For those of you who have never experienced the ongoing increased awareness of Hashem’s presence as it is experienced here in the Old City, you may not understand the significance of this exchange.
The young rabbi asked himself a question that really, he should not have had to ask, and Hashem answered him loud and clear through Divine Providence (Hashgocha Protis). Although he heard a father speaking to his son, he knew that Hashem was having that father also talk to him.
It is nice when your opinions receive Heavenly approval. ;~)