Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Three Blessings

Chassidus teaches that the Angel Michoel is responsible for bestowing the Jewish people with the three blessings of  health, wealth and children.  Some people have all three, some people have only one of them, and some people have none at all.  The word ''children'' does not just refer to being blessed with having children, but also that the child grows up to be a mensch... that you receive nachas [loosely translated as pride and pleasure] from your children.

The Zohar teaches that if a Jewish woman covers her hair, she will be blessed with all three..... [Likutei Sichos, vol. 13, p. 188 Lubavitcher Rebbe]

.... unfortunately, these days, it is not always that simple.   Our souls are all reincarnations and our situations in this life are probably determined by our past lives and whatever needs to be atoned for and fixed in this life  [although for women, covering the hair is still a very good way to give yourself and your family extra blessing from Above].

Of course, Torah, Tefilla [prayer] and Tzedaka [charity] can improve all three blessings.

There are two tests – for a wealthy person, his challenge is to not believe that he is the creator [of his wealth].

For the person in dire straits, it is to still believe.

Both can be educated through the “Ma-an” [manna - the daily seeds which fell, giving the Jews food during their duration in the desert].

For the wealthy person, the Ma-an was literally the Jews' sustenance  - for though people were famously wealthy – having taken the Egyptian wealth, nonetheless they were in a desert, and the Ma-an was their sole sustenance which forced them to daily look Heavenward.

In contrast, the Ma-an was miraculous in that if you took extra even for one day, it rotted [in other words, the poor person could appreciate that extra was actually not a blessing].

How To Unlock Divine Flow 

However, the key to unlock the Divine infinite flow is by setting aside one’s ego – acknowledging that everything is merely G-d’s kindness.

We find there is a commentary that explains that after Yitzchok gave Maaser [tithe] on the produce of his fields, he discovered that the same produce multiplied one hundred times.

In other words, what Hashem is coming to teach us is that from the reward of giving Maaser, man is blessed even a hundred times more. 

We can ask, if the ultimate reward is spirituality, and fulfilling unconditionally G-d’s will, why does the Torah promise physical rewards [as we learn in the Shema]?

Furthermore, why would it be so laudable that in the messianic era so many Divine miracles will create a miraculous physical abundance [such as “When you plant, things will grow” – “The taste of the tree’s bark will be like its fruit” – all indicating a world of complete physical pleasure]

The answer is that in truth, everything in the physical flows from the Torah.

Hence when a Jew engages in the Torah [as the Zohar teaches, “First G-d creates through Torah, then Jews maintain through its study”] so this manifests not only spiritually, but also physically.

In the era of Moshiach this flow will be apparent.

Sources: Likutei Sichos 4 Page 1099; Likutei Sichos 5 Page 12; Likutei Sichos 37 Page 79; Kabbalah Wisdom OhrTmimim

Note....there are a couple of other ways to improve your mazal, and these will be mentioned in my next post.


Devorah said...

It is important to note that if you have not been blessed with the three blessings and you perhaps only have two of them and want the third, you may have to sacrifice one of the others in order to get that third one. For example, you may have health and wealth, but no children. Perhaps it was decreed in Heaven that you would not have children in this life. But through your prayers and good deeds, you may manage to change this and have a child, especially considering the fact that we have IVF as well as the possibility of adopting a child. You may end up with children, but will have to sacrifice one of the other blessings... as in the story below.

Once there was a very rich Chassid (follower) of the Besh't (Baal Shem Tov) who we will call Zalman who owned several large forests and a huge factory for making matches. He and his wife lived in a palatial mansion gave much charity and were very good hearted. But one thing made them miserable; they had no children of their own.

He had traveled the long journey to visit the Besh’t many times but could never bring himself to complain about his problem; after all he had so much to be thankful for. But lately his wife became really impatient, no day went by without her shedding tears and he was beginning to feel it.

So the next time that he went to the Besh't he found himself standing before the holy man begging for a blessing.

The Baal Shem looked at his Chassid very seriously and answered, "I'm sorry, Zalman, I can't help you" He paused a minute and added "Unless you are willing to forfeit all your wealth. You see, in heaven there are three gates of success; Health, Wealth, and Children and it has been decreed that only two are open to you. You have health and wealth. If you want children you will have to forfeit one of the others; my blessing can only draw down what is waiting for you. Go home and ask your wife if she is willing to live a life of poverty"

Without hesitating the Chassid declared; "Yes, yes! I don't have to ask her. My wife told me before I left, that her life is not worthwhile without a child; she said that she is willing to sacrifice everything. Please, please give us the blessing" he begged.


Devorah said...

....cont from above

Zalman's six-day journey home seemed like minutes, such good news! But when he arrived his wife stood at the door, wringing her hands in worry with a very solemn look on her face. " Come in and sit down Zalman" she said to him in a broken voice, "We've had some terrible luck while you've been gone, just sit down and listen, I'm sure it's all for the best. A few days in the middle of the winter was a heat wave! Well all those trees your workers cut down, over two million rubles worth of lumber that you had waiting on the icy river, flowed away before we could put our stamp on them or tie them together. It's a huge loss, Zalman, we'll never get those logs back! Then, as though that wasn't enough, the very next day there was a fire in the factory, no one knows how it started, but we lost everything." She was really weeping now as she continued, "I know everything is from G-d Zalman, but we're wiped out. Only the machines are left and who knows if they work. The creditors are already knocking at the door and, I'm afraid we have nothing to pay them with. Zalman, are you all right? Why are you smiling? Zalman, what are you doing"

Zalman was ecstatic! He stood and yelled, “It’s the Baal Shem's blessing!" He began singing and dancing, "We're going …. We're going to have a CHILD!!! A BABY!!!"

"Zalman, really?" His wife joined in, "Really? Oh, thank G-d Boruch HaShem!!!!"

And so it was; just as the Tzadik (holy Jew) said it would. They lost their mansion, their lands and the remains of the factory to pay off the debts, and they began living near the docks in an old wooden shipping crate that Zalman managed to make livable.

The story does not end there, continue reading at Yeshiva Ohr Tmimim

Anonymous said...

Hope there still is a better ending here. It's like playing a lotto game. H' is all good and if we think we have one thing and can't have the other, while we do know that many wicked or not so good people have it all, is not a very Jewish way of thinking. We have to be thankful to H' for everything, but we all live with hope and we pray for H's blessings upon us and ours. The Jew is to be optimistic and happy and know in his heart that nothing is impossible or improbable for H' to bestow upon those who do His Will. There are always the half full glass and the half empty glass people. Depends on the teacher and the student's thinking.

Devorah said...

Not a Jewish way of thinking? Actually it is from the Torah... even ''wicked'' people have some merits.... Hashem rewards some evil people for their few merits, in this world, but they will have no Olam HaBo.... while for many righteous people who may be suffering down here, their full reward comes in Olam HaBo. That is why seemingly good people ''suffer'' and seemingly wicked people can prosper. We do not fully know Hashem's accounting system. This world is just the hallway to the Next World, this world is confusing to us because we cannot see the whole picture.

Anonymous said...

Agree with all you say and know that too, Devorah. But, we should strive for what we think we need. We do not believe like some other nations who believe in 'fate', no matter what. We believe that we can achieve and change fate if we go in the right path. We do not know nor understand H's ways. But, we live with hope and tefilah.