When all is going well many people develop a healthy sense of complacency, while others may develop an unhealthy smugness. We may come to believe that our material success is a reflection of our spiritual success.

A person could easily begin to attribute his success to an abundance of personal merits. Over time, as proof of one’s meritorious condition a person could even begin to imagine God’s hand in his situation.

However, the truth of the matter could be quite different!

The Talmud of Eretz Yisrael (Shab. 2:6) teaches us that “Satan does not prosecute unless it is a time of danger” which means to say that under normal circumstances Satan is not exacting in prosecuting us for our demerits.

When our life is comfortable or even well-off, it is not necessarily because our merits are so great, but because Satan simply does not have the time to pursue smaller crimes.

A tangential lessons that the Talmud of Eretz Yisrael teaches us here is that a person should never assume that what he has is rightfully due him. He may simply not have been audited yet.

May we increase our merits and never lose sight of reality with the illusion that we necessarily deserve what we have!

About the Author
Michael Linetsky has published a number of works, some of which receiving approbations from scholars such as Nahum Sarna, David Weiss Halivni, the late Lord Emanuel Jacobovits and Dr. Norman Lamm.
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