Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Lech Lecha

Lucky Man

By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

“And He said to him, 'so shall be your offspring'." Beresheet 15:9

Hash-em appeared to Abram and told him to leave his tent and go out into the night. Abram complied and was lifted above the stars.

Hash-em then promised him, “So will be your offspring – the Jewish people will be like the stars”. Abram objected. “You have promised me great blessings – a great nation -the land of Israel – and the Torah. But I have checked my astrology and see that I am not destined to have any children at all. What good are the generous blessings if my servant will inherit me?”

Hash-em replied: “Leave your astrology. You are not subject to the natural laws. You will have all that I promise.”

The Talmud says: “There is no luck where Israel is concerned”. Some may see this as a curse but in truth it is a blessing.

The great sage Shemuel was sitting with a Gentile astrologer named Ablat. They saw a group of men walking to the fields to work.

“That man will be bitten by a poisonous snake and die today”, Ablat predicted with brazen confidence.

“If he is a Jew”, Shemuel responded, “He will see no harm.”

At the end of the day the entire group returned home safely. Ablat became very upset and left the scene in his anger. Shemuel, on the other hand, calmly approached the survivor and asked, “What good deed did you do today?”

“Nothing special”, was the modest reply.

“Cannot be”, said Shemuel, “something you did saved your life from a poisonous snake. Can’t you think of anything?”

“Well”, said the farmhand, ‘We go to the fields every day and we pool our lunches so that no one goes hungry. One person collects from each worker and then he redistributes equal portions to all. We have one rule. To get a share you must contribute to the pot. Today, I realized that one worker had nothing to give. I made believe that he handed me some food but I really took from my own and put it in the pot as if it were his. Then when I went around giving out lunch he got an equal share with everyone.”

“Sedakah – your charitable act - saved you from death”, exclaimed the Sage. He opened the man’s knapsack and there was a dead snake inside.

What the Gemara means is that although Hash-em has chosen to allow the stars positions to influence human life – that is - astrology really works – He has made it so that a Jew THROUGH GOOD DEEDS can influence and change his luck. The is no luck for Israel means there is no fixed future that one cannot change for the better through good deeds like charity and kindness.

May we all take this lesson to heart. May Hash-em smile when He sees us treating each other kindly and cancel all bad decrees and turn them to good – Amen

Shabbat Shalom


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

Just One More!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Reaching Within
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5763

Jewish Reactions
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

> Was Moshe a Bad Neighbor?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Parting Words
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Rosh Hashana and the Kiss of Life
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Consistency is Key
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

To Life!
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

On a Personal Note
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

ArtScroll

No Excuse Not To 'Do Teshuvah'
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

For the Love of G-d
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Heartspeak
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Facing the Covenant
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

In Good Standing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Our Leaders Define Us
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

No More Excuses!
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information