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Section: Moadim   Category: Elul-Tishrei
If You Are Looking For Some Wagon Oil This Rosh HaShana, You Better Have A Good Story To Tell
This is a poignant story that one should keep in mind when davening for a "Shanah Tovah".   Rav Moshe Rosenstein, zt’l, the mashgiach of Yeshivas Lomza was traveling on a train and met a Modzitcher chassid, who related a story about his Rebbe.  

A chassid approached the Modzitcher Rebbe seeking advice on his parnassah.  The Rebbe pushed him away, saying, “I don’t occupy myself with the frivolities of this world.”  Immediately after this chassid was rebuffed, another chassid entered the Rebbe’s room and spoke to the Rebbe for a full two hours – about his parnassah.  

The first chassid returned to the Rebbe, and inquired why the Rebbe had refused to discuss his parnassah with him at all, and subsequently had a lengthy discussion with his friend about the same subject.

The Rebbe answered, “I’ll tell you a mashal.  A wagon driver entered a store which sold a variety of expensive merchandise, and requested to buy a little oil to grease the wheels of his wagon.  The store owner began screaming, “Get out of here, I don’t sell wagon oil!”  The wagon driver retorted, “Why did you just give wagon oil to the customer before me?”  The store owner explained, “The customer before you bought expensive merchandise and I earned a hefty profit.  In appreciation, I also gave him oil for his wagon.  You, however, are requesting only oil, and therefore I’m informing you that I’m not an oil merchant.’”

The Modzitcher Rebbe continued, “Your friend has asked my advice many times on chinuch issues, setting aside enough time to learn Torah, and other issues of avodas Hashem.  Therefore, when he came now to ask about parnassah issues, I dedicated my time to discuss it with him because it’s impossible to be mechanech your children and to serve Hashem without parnassah.  You, however, came only about parnassah, like wagon oil, and therefore, I told you that I’m not an oil merchant.”

The mashgiach, Rav Moshe, concluded, “It’s the same thing with ruchniyus.  A person sets aside time to learn Torah, he fulfills the mitzvohs, and gives pleasure to His Creator, and on Rosh Hashana, he requests his gashmiyus needs.  Hashem gives him what he desires in order that He can serve Hashem.  But someone who requests only parnassah, and forgets the ikar, should surely know that Hakodash Boruch Hu is not a parnassah merchant.”     (Darchei Mussar)
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Visitor Comments: 1

CT, Yerushalayim, 2008-09-17 02:09:00
I wish I can spend more writing , but It's NOW MORE obvious to me that I need to get back to the gemorrah ...(I took a not so Quick break from the tough seugia).Baruch hashem this article is eactly what I need to hear. Yarag Ve al Yaavor.
a big YAsher Koach,
Chaim ELiezer

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