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Parashat Emor 5772

I’m using a different format this week because I want to discuss a practical topic.

Also, there is a special opportunity available for just a few days this week that I want to let you know about.

If you want to skip everything and go straight to the special offer, you’ll find it at the end of this post. 🙂

[Update: The offer is no longer available, but this post is still worth reading.]


We all know that our parnasa (financial support) comes from God. Part of the judgment on Rosh HaShana is what our income will be for the coming year.

In the Tabernacle and the Temple, the Shulchan (Table) represents the sustenance that God sends into our world. Take a look at these verses from this week’s parasha (translation by Judaica Press):

Vayikra Chapter 24

5 And you shall take fine flour and bake it [into] twelve loaves. Each loaf shall be [made from] two tenths [of an ephah of flour].

6 And you place them in two stacks, six in each stack, upon the pure table, before the Lord.

7 And you shall place pure frankincense alongside each stack, and it shall be a reminder for the bread, a fire offering to the Lord.

8 Each and every Sabbath day, he shall set it up before the Lord [to be there] continuously, from the children of Israel an eternal covenant.

9 And it shall belong to Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, for it is holy of holies for him, among the fire offerings of the Lord, an eternal statute.


The role of the kohanim was to serve in the Temple and to be the teachers of the Jewish people. In exchange, they received support from the people. For example, they were given:

  • first fruits (bikkurim)
  • the first of each dough (challah)
  • a small percentage of the harvest (terumah)
  • portions from many of the animal offerings
  • a portion of many of the meal offerings.

However, these 12 loaves are unique. All of the other gifts that the kohanim received were dependent upon the people bringing them to the kohanim. These 12 loaves were directly from God and not at all dependent upon any action of the people.

Bitachon versus Hishtadlut

One of the important questions that the Gemara discusses is what is the proper balance between a person’s bitachon (trust in God) and hishtadlut (effort).

Here is one of the discussions, from Berachot 35a:

Our Rabbis taught: “And you shall gather in your grain” (Devarim 11:14). What is learned from these words? Since it says, “This book of the Torah shall not depart out of your mouth” (Joshua 1:8), I might think that this verse is to be taken literally. Therefore it says, “And you shall gather in your grain,” which implies that you are to combine the study of them [Torah] with a worldly occupation. This is the view of Rabbi Ishmael.

Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai says: Is that possible?

If a man plows at the time of plowing,

and sows at the time of sowing,

and reaps at the time of reaping,

and threshes at the time of threshing,

and winnows at the time of wind,

what is to become of the Torah?

Rather, when Israel perform the will of God, their work is performed by others …

Abaye said: Many have followed the advice of Rabbi Ishmael, and have been successful; others have followed Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai and have not been successful.

Throughout the generations, most people have adopted the approach of Abaye and followed the teaching of Rabbi Ishmael. It’s not always an easy path. Each person must constantly evaluate what they are doing and strive to keep a proper balance between their bitachon and hishtadlut.

A Special Time

If you are like me and a follower of Rabbi Ishmael, then I have a special, short time offer for you.

As you know, for many years I taught at a yeshiva in Jerusalem. About a year ago I was laid off.

That does not make me unique. The economic conditions the past few years have been extremely difficult for many people.

When I was laid off I had no illusions that any yeshivas or seminaries would quickly scoop me up and offer me a teaching position.

Let’s face it. Not many places want to hire a guy in his 50s who did not grow up going to yeshiva since he was 5.

So I’ve turned my attention to the Internet. I’m not earning very much yet, but I am starting to see things come together.

The Internet offers everyone, no matter what their age, gender, prior experience, or financial resources, the opportunity to start a business.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It doesn’t mean that everyone will succeed. But the opportunity has never been better.

It has never been easier or less expensive to start a business.

The Deal

Starting at noon EDT on Monday, April 30th and for just three days, you have the opportunity to buy $1,000 worth of business-building instruction for just $100.

The sale is called The $100 Startup. It’s a package of 18 courses and 1 hardcover book (shipped anywhere in the world!).

You may ask, “Why is Shlomo doing this? What does this have to do with Thinking Torah? I came here to learn Torah!”

I’ll just remind you, the subtitle of this website is “Torah for everyday life.”

For most people, a huge part of their everyday life is work.

If this package of courses can help one person earn an honorable living, then I think it is worthwhile.

Maybe this is not for you. That’s fine.

But think for a minute.

Do you know anyone who is out of work?

Do you know anyone who is working but doesn’t earn very much?

Do you know anyone who dislikes their job and wants to change, but is hanging on because it’s too scary to leave a job in this economy?

Do you know anyone who is interested in starting a part-time business on the side?

If you do, please let them know about The $100 Startup.

Go here and check out the offer. Don’t wait. It’s only available for three days. When they say three days, they mean it. It’s not a come on and the offer will not be extended. They done sales like this before and are firm about the start time and end time.

I want to be totally upfront here. The links to this sale are my affiliate links. That means, if you end up buying the package, I will earn a small referral fee.

This is a common way for bloggers to earn money from their blog. It just happens to be the first time that I’ve put an offer like this on Thinking Torah.

I also want you to know that your trust is very important to me.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to review two Jewish books. If I would have reviewed the books, I would have included affiliate links. But you haven’t (yet) seen any book reviews on this site. I read the books and decided that they were not well-written books that I should share with my readers.

The last time one of these sales occurred I bought the package, which is different from what is currently offered :-).

I also plan to buy this package. I consider it a part of my continuing education.

Over the past year, I have gotten to know some of the authors who contributed to The $100 Startup package, and look forward to learning more from them.

If you have any questions put them in the comments or use the contact form and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Your Turn

Click on the link and check out The $100 Startup sale.

It ends at noon EDT, Thursday, May 3rd. Don’t miss it.

It ended a long time ago, but most of the ideas in this post are still valid.

Picture credit Flickr.

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