The stock market is in turmoil. Oil is falling out of control. And folks are feeling it where it hurts: in their wallets. Since Adam was cursed in the Garden of Eden, “By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread”, making a living has never been easy.
The only exception is in Parshas Beshalach when, while living in the desert for forty years, the Jews would awake each morning (other than Shabbos) to find their food ready and waiting for them in the form of the miraculous manna.
If G-d can provide for our needs in such an ample and miraculous way such as the manna, then why would He want us to suffer through the indignity and challenge of earning a living? Why does it have to be so hard?
The reason is profound.
On the one hand, G-d could effortlessly provide for all our needs. On the other hand, critical to our purpose in this world is our ability to have freedom of choice. We can’t have it both ways. If we were to find an automatic deposit in our bank accounts each morning from “G-d Holdings Unlimited” our exposure to the “real world” would be limited and we would have fewer opportunities to sin or, conversely, perform mitzvahs. For this reason, G-d desires that we earn our living in an world that hides His divine presence, and consequently allows us the freedom to act in the manner that we choose.
Simply put, G-d wants to provide for our needs, but He insists that we (at least seemingly) provide for ourselves in a environment of our creation in which his blessings are hidden. If you’re trying to earn half a million dollars this year, becoming a shoemaker may not be your best bet. Perhaps become a lawyer or trade the stock market. But as long as you can provide the smokescreen, G-d will bless your actions with success regardless.
But that’s only half the job. On the flip side, we must meditate on the lesson of the manna, how our daily bread is actually a benevolent and direct gift from G-d.
And this is the Kabbalistic recipe to success: The fusion of both the recognition of G-d’s presence coupled with the formation of a milieu (a medium or setting) that will hide His presence.
Invest in the market and practice your trade, but never forget the origin of all blessings, Then surely G-d will bless you with success beyond your expectations!