Discover more from Rationalist Judaism
For Whom Money Grows On Trees
In shul today I came across a parasha sheet which displayed this astonishing cartoon:
On the left is a hard-working farmer, whose tree is not producing fruit, despite him adding fertilizer to it. On the right is a kollel man, who doesn't need to put in any effort for parnasah - instead, money is just dropping off his tree!
But it gets even more outrageous.
The picture accompanies a dvar Torah about parashas Vayishlach. The dvar Torah is based off the account of how Yaakov went to the trouble of going back to get some small utensils. Chazal explain that for the righteous, who don't take shortcuts such as theft, their possessions are of great value to them, and they go to great efforts to look after them. The parasha sheet quotes this, and then explains that a few small utensils that have Hashem's blessing can therefore be worth more than millions of gold coins, and then segues into relating how for the righteous, their money miraculously pays for all their needs and they have plenty left over at the end of the month, whereas people with big paychecks lose all their money to "doctors and lawyers"! It continues to explain how the righteous don't need to put in regular efforts for parnasa, because they are aware that Hashem has in any case already decided on Rosh Hashana how much they will receive! It ignores the fact that Yaakov worked for many, many years to attain his prosperity.
Incredibly, then, the parasha sheet has managed to twist the Torah's lesson about effort and responsibility for parnasah, into a lesson about how one doesn't need to put in effort!
In the yeshivah world, they often say that Daas Baalei Batim is the opposite of Daas Torah. Well, here's a case where "Daas Torah" is not only the opposite of Daas, but it's even the opposite of Torah!