Windows from the Heavens

During the days of Elisha HaNavi, the nation of Aram surrounded the Jewish people in Shomron and started a siege. The people were so starved that they were forced to pay exorbitant prices to obtain even a donkey’s head to eat.

Elisha came to the city and announced, “Tomorrow, the a se’ah of flour will be [the very low price of] a shekel, and two se’ah of barley for one shekel.

There was an officer of the king of Israel standing nearby who called out, “Will Hashem make windows in the sky? How can such a thing be?!” He doubted that such a miracle could occur.

The Navi responded, “You will see this with your own eyes, but you will not benefit from it.”

That night, Hashem scared off the Aram army by sending noises that sounded like a tremendous army coming to attack. In their panic they left everything behind including a large quantity of food.

Some Jews discovered the abandoned camp and told their king. When he saw the vast spoils left behind, he sent an announcement to the city. “Tomorrow the price of flour will be one shekel for a se’ah and two se’ah of barley for a shekel.”

As the Jews went running to see what was going on, the doubting officer got trampled to death under their feet. He saw the miracle but did not partake in it. (Melachim II 6 – 7)

How is this officer different than us? Chazal say that someone who has food for today but worries about what he’ll have tomorrow is lacking faith. (Sottah 48b) If we doubt that Hashem will provide for us, why aren’t we punished like the officer?

The truth is that we do suffer the same fate.

When we worry about what we don’t have and look around at everyone else who looks like they have it all, we never get enjoyment from what we do have! In reality, everyone is doing this, even the people who seem to have it all are jealous of people who have more than them. It’s a self-fulfilling curse!

Once we realize that no matter what we do it’s impossible to get even a penny more than Hashem knows we should have, then we can start enjoying what He sends us and stop worrying that we’re not doing enough.

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