Spinning the Gears

Berel realized one morning that his term paper was due tomorrow! If only he hadn’t pushed it off so long! The topic was “Chinese Rice Production in the early 18th Century.” How was he supposed to research that in only one day?!

Berel skipped school for the day and quickly ran as fast as he could to the library. He frantically scanned the shelf for the book he needed only to find a gaping space where the book belonged!

The librarian informed him that that book would be back next Tuesday. “Next Tuesday!” he cried, “But I need it today!” “Alright,” she said, “There’s another copy in our branch located an hour away, you can try to get that one.” “So how do I get there?” he begged. “I’m sorry, we’re not allowed to give directions,” was her response. After much pleading – and maybe a bit of crying – he had the directions and was on his way.

But soon he was completely lost. A gas station attendant helpfully informed him that the librarian had told him to take the wrong turn and he needed to turn around and head 10 miles the other way! Berel pulled up to the library just as the branch manager was locking the doors. “Please, please, please!” he cried, “I need the book!” The manager acquiesced to his pleas and let him in and he found the book of his desire! What Hashgacha!

He finally arrived home after his long day and cracked open the book. “Chapter 22 – Rice Production in China.” said the index. Chapter 19… 20… 21… 23! Chapter 22 was gone, neatly cut out from the book!!

And then, Berel remembered. Last year Yanky did an excellent report on this exact topic…

Berel dialed Yanky’s number. “Yanky,” Berel asked, “Do you remember the report you did last year?” “Do I!?” Yanky replied. “Sure I do! I got it right out of the book!” (He sure did!) And with that, Berel was able to get the pages he needed to complete his report.

The Alter calls this concept “Gilgul Hasibos.” – “Setting causes into effect.” This idea is similar to turning gears, there is so much effort involved in spinning one gear which moves the other and so on, until the right gear is moved. This is what people do to get their needs met. They work, and try, and work some more until they get what they are after,

Just like Berel, someone without bitachon spends much of his life exerting effort into many different causes hoping that he will achieve success. But in reality, success is in Hashem’s hands and might be right by your doorstep (just like the book was already by Berel’s friend). When you leave things to Hashem, there’s no need for exertion.

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