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To know G-d

There is a mitzvah to Know G-d and in the Messianic times, one’s occupation is to know G-d.

To know G-d means that one’s priority is to learn about and meditate on Him, to cleave to Him in Torah, performing mitzvahs, and practicing hisbonenus (meditation/contemplation) on all the ideas of Torah, mitzvahs, and chassidus, and as it’s written in Proverbs 3:6, “know Him in all your ways.”


Knowing G-d does not mean, using an example of an individual in Yeshiva, that he has a schedule of learning and in his “free time” he fits in other things, such as business related maters. This latter approach may be likened to a student in school.


The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught the importance of living with Moshiach, living as if it’s here now. “With such an attitude,” he’d say, “it is easier to tolerate exile, and it is easier for [a person] to carry out his divine service properly, because he feels himself as a free person who is not in exile.”* One way this understanding may be expressed is that a person will not go out of one’s way (for matters other than Torah and Mitzvahs), nor attempt to force an outcome. Rather, since a person will live as if his desires are already accomplished, he might ask, “what would I be doing if x was already done?” and, “How would I be if it was already done?” It is similar to the question used to help people determine their passion, “if you have a million dollars or money was no issue, what would you be doing?”


Since there is insight into the Messianic times and our role during this era, it makes answering the questions above easier. Any additional role to learning Torah and performing mitzvahs, will come up serendipitously because the person is involved in knowing G-d. This type of occupation refines the person to be more receptive to higher ways of thinking and being, thus allowing opportunities to show up by Hashgacha pratis, Divine Providence, and actions to be performed in the flow rather than felt to be forced. Thus, the occupation is not like a student in school nor a person working for a time period. It is being immersed in and having a healthy obsession for Torah because it’s not simply a study. Torah is the person’s life. As the Rebbe would often state, Torah is derived from the word “hora’ah,” lesson. Just as, if not more so, a person needs to eat and drink every day, he must feed his soul with Torah.


The following story illuminates the concept:


There are two business men with similar businesses. One’s business is successful and the other’s business is not. Noticing customers go in his competitor’s store, the one who’s business is unsuccessful asks the other, what’s making his business successful?


The man with the successful business tells the other man that when there’s not a customer he’s learning Torah and in his store are photos of tzaddikim (righteous people) and books on Torah. In order to get him to stop, the yetzer hara (evil inclination, ego) sends customers. However, that allows HaShem (G-d) to give him success in business. In the store of the unsuccessful owner, however, when there’s not a customer he’s involved with other things, like watching television or on his phone, so the yetzer hara has no work to do, it’s accomplishing it’s task without having to persuade or distract him.


Takeaway


There are many things we are involved in, whether it’s a responsibility or a passion. As written about in A Little that Holds a Lot, there is a possibility that the approach we have with it is limited i.e we may be doing more than necessary or trying too hard. By making one’s involvement knowing G-d - praying/meditating, learning Torah, doing mitzvahs, etc. - it is opening up to more possibilities - for something to occur, in accomplishing something, and in creating something.


Ask


Do you look how to advance or strategize in business ? Or how to improve in learning Torah and being closer with HaShem? Truly it’s not an either/or question, but what is the priority - your relationship with G-d or the opposite?


*(Chayenu: Matos Mas’ei 5782 quote of Toras Menachem 5714, vol. 1, p. 41ff)


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