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Why Do We Have To Work?

Why Didn’t a Good G-d Provide for All Our Needs? And What Was It About the Labor Abraham Observed in the Land of Canaan that Inspired His Love for the Country?

55 min

Class Summary:

Why Didn’t a Good G-d Provide for All Our Needs? And What Was It About the Labor Abaraham Observed in the Land of Canaan that Inspired His Love for the Country?

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  • Anonymous -7 months ago

    גדול

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  • T

    Test -3 years ago

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  • T

    Test -3 years ago

    Test

    Test

    Test

    Test

    Test

    1. Test
    2. Test

    Test

    Test link

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  • C

    Chaim -10 years ago

    motivated
    First and foremost thank you so much for the wonderful website it is truly an otzar of Torah and knowledge! I have to admit quite often I use many of the shiurim from the website!

     

    I know that you don’t have any achrayus to answer any q's but I wanted to know if you can answer the following q - I was giving the class you have on lech lcha entitled " Why Do We Have To Work?" and ran into the following resistance - in today’s society there is no issue with not working look around and see how many ppl don’t have jobs, furthermore if you look at uncivilized parts of the world they have no interest in working they would rather sit around and do nothing.  (roytzeh odom is only if he is already working) So if it is so important why don’t we have more of an innate push to work.  (My answer was that hashem says "sheshes yomim taavod”)

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    • A

      Anonymous -10 years ago

      Re: motivated
      It seems to me that although we all enjoy a vacation and we often hate our work, but when a person has nothing to do and is not productive in any way, it kills him. When we are not productive we feel bored, empty, and we have a deep void to fill. We fill it through endless entertainment, shopping, drinking, dulling our senses, but by nature man needs to feel satisfaction from some form of doing something significant and productive.

       

      As Chazal say, "shemom mavei ledei batalah" and the continuation which is not very flattering.

       

      Of course if I have an oppressive boss or an abusive job I will rather stay at home and sleep, but that does not take away from the truth that an ordinary person needs and WANTS TO FEEL HE IS ACCOMPLISHING SOMETHING.

       

      The amount of retired people who suffer from their boredom is known, ditto with youngsters who have nothing to do with their lives. These are well known truths. See also Bava Kama (I think p. 37 or 38) about "muad leshabbos," and Rashi ibid concerning what an animal does on Shabbos when it is bored because it cannot work.

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  • M

    Meir -10 years ago

    IPHONE
    BH



    An amzaing and clear Shiur once again.



    I have to say I find myself listening to more and more of these Shiurim.



    Just wondering if we can get these to play on smartphones so we can listen while traveling


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  • B

    BK -11 years ago

    Thankyou
    Really beautiful. Thankyou so much.

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  • L

    Lawrence -12 years ago

    Be Original
     To be frank, I am getting a little sick and tired of Rabbis who resort to pop psychology in order to make names for themselves.  Look, either your name is Abraham twerski or it is not Abraham Twerski so lets cut the crap.  Nothing you say is supported by chazal in that article in contrast to all your other Algemeiner articles where you were always careful to state your sources.  Are YOU a hypocrite?  Why do I get the feeling that you sometimes try to be unoriginal and re-package stuff that you hear from psychologists thinking that it will sound more authoritative coming from a Rabbi?  It is not Torah!   I am

    actually thinking of writing an article which contradicts your article.



    The point is not if the parent is a hypocrite but whether the child grows up to be one.  Derech Eretz is the key, which children are NOT being taught today even in the Lubavitcher world (or perhaps I should say ESPECIALLY in the Lubavitchedr world).  People will be people and of course in the ideal world where people are devoid of any hypocrisy children will grow up just fine, but I have not yet witnessed that ideal world.  Sounds like you have, so please invite me to your Utopia some time.  But for heavens sake, BE ORIGINAL!

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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: Be Original
      Thank you for sharing. I beg to differ. I think it is a basic principle of Torah that a parent and a teacher in order to educate children must live that way--see Talmud Shabbos 31a at length about the need for Yiras Shamayim. You know the words of the Midrash (Vayikra Rabah) about "Talmid Chacham shein bo daas." The famour words of Rabbeinu Tam in Sefar Hayasher sum it up: "Words that comes from the heart enter the heart." One can site many many more sources for this.



      I heard many times from the Rebbe that the most effective tool in education is being a "dugmah chayah," a living example of that idea which we are trying to convey. 

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      • L

        Lawrence -12 years ago

        Re: Be Original
        Sorry for being so harsh in my initial criticism it wasn't meant to be personal.  We are on the same side - I agree with everything you said, it is just that we are admonished "not to judge" anybody and this, as you know, is a severe admonition.  Who can judge a mother with six kid that can save $30 by lowering the age of her kids for a goy that is likely overcharging to begin with and will likely not know the difference?



        Do you know what this women's budget is?  Or can SHE simply book another speech for an instant quick fix of $5000?  My point was simply that in the abscence of an ideal universe we are all hypocrites to a certain extent.  Kids are smarter than you think, however, as I recently heard a chashuva Rav discuss and understand the heart.  They are not simply mechanical robots or computers that assimiliate inconsistencies in behavoir.



        BUT (and here is the key) when it comes to learning menshchelekeit, they (and we) are all one of Pavlov's dogs in the sense that if Derech Eretz is not learned then the entire bottom falls out.  The saying "Derech Eretz Kadmon Hatorah" says it all.  If we are not going to vigilantly teach our kids derech eretz we might as well not send them off in the morning to Yeshiva.  If we do teach it to them they will be more than able to navigate around our inconsistencies and turn out the way that we want.

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  • T

    TW -12 years ago

    Thank you!!!!
    Bs"d



    Thank you Rabbi J for this amazing Torah!!!!

    Mamash true!!!! especially, sometimes it's so easy to see the negative things in the people who are most close to us and even criticizing our parents' hypocrisy should be only in order that we make a change in our selves and check that we don't have this same hypocrisy in our selves...that's how kibud horim is so deep... when i respect my my parents - no matter who they are- if they don't respect me (I'm not saying anything about myself) but I'm fixing the hypocrisy in the deepest way...from the inside out...I'm saying I'm going to work on myself before i work on any one else...my parents/kids etc....


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  • DB

    Dovid Benveniste,Tsfat -12 years ago

    You are right.,it is both.
    Bs"d

    Teshuvah b'simcha!

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  • DB

    Dovid Benveniste,Tsfat -12 years ago

    Re:we are always creating "creations" that will not create, i.e. lifless matter, etc.
    Bs"d

    Question:

    Can there be a trace of life in stones?

    (I've been to their concerts in the sixties.Big question.)

    Seriously,all matter has organic roots in a Chassidic sense,thereby some concealed connection to G-d,even treacherous loathesome bloodthirsty Wahaabi and other Jihadists.So therefore it mirrors Hashem , even though beyond any reason or dimension of reality to our inate sense of truth.

    Yes?

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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re:we are always creating "creations" that will not create, i.e. lifless matter, etc.
      Everything has a life force of G-d, but sometimes that force is in "exile," see at length in Tanya ch. 24. 

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  • DB

    Dovid Benveniste,Tsfat -12 years ago

    Can it be said simpler?
    Bs'd

    We were created to create creators?

    or: We were created to create creations?

    (...and BTW,I need all the help I can get .)

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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: Can it be said simpler?
      I think the answer is both. When we create a chid, we create a "creator." Even when we create a tree, we are in a sense, creating something that will in turn create more. On the other hand, we are always creating "creations" that will not create, i.e. lifless matter, etc.

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  • KT

    Kayo, Tokyo -13 years ago

    Again, another inspiration for our real life
    Baruch HaShem

    This teaching is very encouraging, and almost put pressure on me to toil for whatever I will going to do.
    I will try to be a partner in Creation, but try to remain humble.
    The last Chassidic story is so beautiful.
    Thank you for another inspiration.

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  • Z

    Zev -14 years ago

    Question
    Firstly terrific & very profound points. My question is this. You mention "Values are like colds:
    they are caught, not taught". If this is so then how do you explain assimilation. As I believe most of our grandparents & their parents were more observant than a lot of us are today. By the way if you don't publish this could you send a response to allianceairfreight@ yahoo.com. Thank you

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  • CF

    Carey Fried -14 years ago

    oversimplifying?
    i loved the essay this week as i do most weeks. i wonder though if you're not oversimplifying... when you say how children respond/mirror their parents. That really is not always the case. i would love to hear your opinion on why even when some parents do a good job raising kids, the kids don't turn out the way they hoped

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  • TI

    Tzvi Isaacson -14 years ago

    Not just parents
    This excellent idea is only lacking in one ommission. This also applies to teachers, rabbaim, and all our "spiritual" leaders. Anyone wearing the mantle of a religious person must always know they are a constant example for positive or negative.

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  • E

    eytan -14 years ago

    thanks
    This essay was FABULOUS. Thank you very much.

    Eytan

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  • J

    Joe -14 years ago

    To Alex
    a very powerful idea, Alex. Can you eloberate more? I want to understand better what you mean? What was it at this moment when he met Joseph that compelled him to see the integration of life and the unity of G-d?

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  • A

    alex -14 years ago

    Jacob/Shema
    I had long wondered what was actually going on when Jacob utters the shema, when he finally is reunited with Joseph.
    He was the only Israel extant at the time, and the shema was not part of any liturgy. So could he have been talking to himself? Was he on the threshhold of an epiphany?
    I would suggest that the utterance was really a very personal experience for Jacob.
    He had lived a stormy and fragmented life. His history indicated deal making from the beginning, when after God had already made him a promise, Jacob turns it into a conditional exchange. He is throughout trading on his survival skills, not relying necessarily on faith. One can argue that circumstances forced him into it, but in sharp contrast to his forebears and to Joseph, he lacks an inner core, he is not integrated.
    When he sees Joseph every- thing comes full circle for
    him. He can now declare the integrity of the universe, God is one, having seen and experienced it at work. He finally acquires the serenity of faith.

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  • I

    Isaac -14 years ago

    Very Moved
    Dear Sir - I was so moved that i whipped out my Sidur and for the first time read the "Shema Israel" with such meditative depth - that (i dont know why) tears welled in my eyes - as pictures of my "bio"-father and his unbending essence in his faith - that today i know impacted the essence of my life so very much. And in that truth i am graciously bonded to his "blessed" soul eternally. Thank you my father, and thank you Rabbi for aiding in the enlightenment of my heart and soul. - Thank you - Isaac

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  • S

    Steve -14 years ago

    Next
    As always Rabbi, I enjoyed your article. Please do another talking about the double life so many of us lead ourselves, to one or another degree. How many of us check whether how we act or not reflects the Torah that we know and profess to and probably deep down really do love? How many of us still think or act like we are Americans first and then Jews, or worse, that at home we're mostly Jews and outside we're mostly Americans? Ultimately, our hypocrisy is doing what "works" and calling that "right" instead of what's "right" (Torah-Halachah or what our frum Ravs tell us) when that's really the only thing that really will "work"? Bottom line: Showing the kids by example is admirable and necessary, but so many of us need to get re-wired first.

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  • CS

    chana sharfstein -14 years ago

    Are you a hypocrite?
    very well thought through and Well expressed. I do wonder about the response of parents re their wishes for their children. I am quite convinced the typical response would be rich or successful, someone prominent etc. just to be good, I think that might not even be mentioned. the importance of parents as role models- unfortunately the youth of today lack role models. it is a sad situation. When the leaders in the world are lacking in many areas, that indeed makes us aware of the emphasis of good values that should be brought forth in our homes.

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  • HA

    Hadassah Aber -14 years ago

    like a mirror
    Your message rings true. Children will reflect our behavior back to us whether we like it or not.

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  • M

    mum -14 years ago

    nice
    Nice. Thank you.

    "Values are like colds:
    they are caught, not taught" -Good one.

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  • RW

    Richard Waldinger -14 years ago

    Are you a hypocrite?
    This article is wonderful. How true it is. I see it reflected in my two wonderful daughters. This article should be required reading for new parents.

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  • AZ

    Ari Zwick -14 years ago

    Moral vs Frum
    Hi Rabbi J
    I find that we are succeeding more on the moral front as opposed to the frum chassidish front. Teaching honesty good manners and trying to instill a "good person" ideals to our kids.
    However on the yiddish/chassidish side of things i feel that its more challenging particularly bieng in business and not devoting mch time to yid / chasid ish things i am sre that they pick this up - where will this type of lifestyle lead - i would like to see my kids bieng sensative to the type of ideals that might be in my heart but notnessesarily in my actions

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  • SNM

    Stephen N. Miller -14 years ago

    Why do we have to work?
    Another profound lesson to an unschooled Jew, brilliantly presented, which offers encouragement to study.

    Thank you.

    But,

    I did squirm a little at the suggestion that we could be "divine". For us to share in G_'s work of creation is one thing, but isn't it chilul ha shem for us to have pretenses about being "divine"?

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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: Why do we have to work?
      This does not mean, of course, that a human being becomes G-d. Humans are humans and G-d is G-d. And an infinite gulf devides them. Yet our objective in life is to become connected with the Divine, as to become conduits and channels for the Divine energy vibrating within each of us. The Talmud talks of "emulating" G-d in our lifestyle, and becoming "davuk," connected with Hashem. Noah and Abraham are described as men who "walked with G-d." And here is hte point: The deepest devakus, connection, to G-d is when we become completely united with Him. For this we must be "creators," not only "creations."

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  • YC

    Y Chaim -14 years ago

    Thanks!

    Kol ha Kavod. It was very good class. We have a weakly group here in S.Paulo, Brazil following your class.

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  • ML

    meira lerman -14 years ago

    QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
    QUESTIONS AN EXERCISES
    1. Do you like to work?
    It depends on coefficient of efficiency of that one and it doesn’t necessary fixed with money rate.
    Do you wish you would not have to work?
    “Our greatest torture is a lazy boredom.”
    2. Do you see work as a great obstacle in life?
    Work becomes an obstacle when servicing is substituted with lackeying.
    The difference is obvious. Abraham might note it when he moved from Mesopotamia to Israel …
    3. What is the explanation why it was the work ethic that Abraham observed in Tyre that caused him to crave this country as a homeland for the Jewish people?
    Deep meaning of man’s life on this earth was revealed through those simple labors of pruning and plowing. There he understood why G-d created human being from the first place.
    4. If G-d is good and He created us to share goodness with us, why didn’t He just provide for all our needs?
    Because we are not His Tamagotchis.
    Why do we have to labor?
    In order to become Creators, Makers, Masters and finally to be His Partners on earth.
    5. Why did G-d create us with a nature to desire “bread of shame”- bread which was not earned?
    It confused me:
    Do we really desire it or reject it?
    Is it congenital or environmental trait in our nature?
    What does “ was not earned” mean? Is a pirate, a thief, or a beggar out of business?
    Who can determine the highest coefficient of efficiency of a person? Does it have anything to do with self-realization?
    6. Why didn’t G-d dwell among the Jews until they engaged in labor?
    Because there had been a breach between Celestial and Earthen before, and it could be transcended only through hard work. Toil of any kind, physical labor as well as intellectual persuaded of studying Torah brought Godliness to each of them and through them to this world.
    7. What is the importance of spitting up your mother’s milk?
    It is one of the best baby developmental skills strongly correlates with his toiling of studying Torah in future and has nothing to do with “spitting up to ceiling” or “ twiddle one’s thumbs”.
    My personal thanks for last story about Atheist's trait we should have when somebody asks us for help.

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  • D

    Dovid -14 years ago

    thanks
    Boruch "H", i am still up at bat, with your weekly shiurim, one of the high points in my week. i watch them [sometimes more then once] with our Rebbe, and the Frierdicher Rebbe looking over my shoulders. Chazak U'Boruch!
    See you in Yerushalayim.

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  • R

    Ron -14 years ago

    why do we work?
    Thank you Rabbi for that enlightening shiur. You have a gift for pulling together and expressing beautiful concepts of Torah in a very meaningful way that is also very relevant to everyday life.

    I also very much enjoy the comical anecdotes that precede your weekly e-mails.

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  • יי

    יוסף יצחק -14 years ago

    הנקודה



    נקודת הביאור: שלימות האדם היא שאינו בגדר נברא אלא שנעשה בבחינת "בורא", כי שלימות הטוב בעולם היא שהאדם נעשה דבוק אל הקב"ה, והדביקות האמיתית היא שנעשה כביכול כמו הקב"ה, דומה לבוראו, בבחינת "בורא". וכדי להיות בבחינת בורא צ"ל בבחינת משפיע, לא מקבל. ואם הקב"ה הי' נותן לנו הכל בחנם, היינו נשארים לעולם בבחינת "מקבל".


    וכאן רואים העשירות וההפשטה שבתורת החסידות, ששאלה מרכזית ופשוטה כמו מדוע אנחנו צריכים לעבוד וכו', הנה הנקודה התיכונה בזה היא שבזה מתבטאת כל היסוד הגדול שהתכלית היא שבן אדם יהי' אלקי, בחינת בורא כביכול.


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  • A

    admin -14 years ago

    refresh your page
    if you are having problems logging in.

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  • G

    Golda -14 years ago

    Why work??
    BS"D
    Thank you soo very much. This was very clear and to the point.
    Your mother should be very proud of you and your work. Tell her Happy Mother's Day, for Rachel Immenu, from another mother.

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  • Z

    ZB -14 years ago

    Fan in NC
    He is on fire tonight!

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  • M

    Moti -14 years ago

    Good Question
    Why do we have to work? I have no clue. I guess I got to listen to the class.

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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • October 26, 2009
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  • 8 Cheshvan 5770
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Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein in the loving memory of a young soul Alta Shula Swerdlov.
And in the merit of Yetta Alta Shula, "Aliya," Schotenstein

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