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Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
The Lesson Of The Untouchable Gemara
This morning in Shul I had an eery experience that reminded me of the following story about the Chozeh of Lublin.  When the Chozeh entered Yeshiva as a young boy, on Erev Shabbos he went to the kitchen because he wanted to prepare his own food.  He took out a piece of fish from a large pot, salted it and put it back in.  Th other talmidim laughed at him because there was no way to know which fish would end up on his plate later that night.

The Baal HaTanya was more curious than skeptical, so as soon as the Chozeh walked away he made a mark on the Chozeh's fish to see if indeed he would get that piece at the seudah.  At the Shabbos table, the Baal HaTanya carefully watched as the plate of fish was passed around. Everyone skipped over the Chozeh's piece until the person sitting right next to him.  After taking the Chozeh's piece onto his plate, he was suddenly hit with a wave of nausea and pushed his plate to the side, right in front of the Chozeh who then promptly ate the secretly marked piece.

This morning I came to shul and saw a Gemara on the table right next to me almost within arm's length.  What was unique about it was that it was an almost impossible to find treasure, it was the Masechta that is the current Daf Yomi.  Normally it takes me 10 minutes after davening to find where all the Daf Yomi gemaras are hidden, but here it was right next to me.  Since I wasn't feeling well and didn't plan on staying after davening to review yesterday's Daf I left it there.

In middle of Yehi Chivod I felt a little better and I decided that I will take advantage of this rare gift of an easily found gemara and review the Daf after davening.  I didn't bother to stretch and take the gemara, since I figured when I get up for Vayivarech Dovid I can just bend over and reach it.  Vayivarech Dovid came and for some reason I didn't bend over to grab the gemara, something was holding me back.  It all became clear to me when a minute later the person who sits in that seat and also scrounges around after davening for the Daf Yomi gemara, walked in.  You should have seen the smile on his face when he saw the gemara right in his place waiting for him.

The moral of the story is that everything that is meant for you is waiting for you and no one can take it away.  Whether a fish, gemara, parking spot, or apartment, what is yours is yours and is waiting for you.  If you don't get something there is no need to get upset with the person who ended up with what you believed belongs to you.  It was obviously not meant for you and no amount of pushing or conniving or great effort will get it for you.

The end of the story is that when I turned around by U'Va L'Tziyon the fellow wasn't there any more.  Turns out we were all winners.  He found his gemara in his place and I got to learn right after davening and also learn a valuable lesson along the way.