Where Every Jew is Family


Even When the Mets Lose, They Win!

B”H

One thing that really impressed me about Mets fans is that when the Mets lost the World Series, most fans were just happy that their team made it.  “Even though they lost, they had a great season” was the most common phrase I heard.

We find in this week’s parsha that after Jacob tricks Isaac into getting the blessings (a whole topic unto itself), he is forced to run away because Esau is ready to kill him.  That seems terrible, but it is because of this experience that he gets married, has the founders of the 12 tribes and becomes fabulously wealthy.

This reminds me of a story.

Once, the Baal Shem Tov paid a visit to a certain village Jew. The impoverished villager welcomed the Chassidic master into his home.

“I must have a donation of eighteen rubles for a very important cause,” the Baal Shem Tov requested. The poor man did not have this large sum. But, considering that it was the Baal Shem Tov making the request, the villager took some of his furniture and his cow, sold them, and gave the Baal Shem Tov the money. Reb Zev Wolf looked on silently while his master took the money and then departed.

Several days later the villager’s rent was due on his inn. He could not produce the sum and the landlord evicted him. The villager, seeing no future for himself in this small village, decided to try his luck elsewhere. He finally found himself a tiny hut in a different village with a different landlord. By selling some more of his possessions, the villager managed to buy a cow. The cow provided him with his sole source of income; he sold her milk and eked out a meager living.

Some time later the local landowner’s cow became sick and her milk was unusable. One of the squire’s servants who knew of the new tenant quickly went to this villager and bought milk for the squire.

When the squire tasted the milk, he commented, “This milk is of a superior quality. Tell the owner of this cow that I will pay handsomely for the privilege of being his only customer.”

This incident turned the tide of fortune for the villager. Each day he delivered milk to the manor and each day the squire commented on the quality of the milk and milk products derived from it. He grew fond of the Jew and began to consult him about his business, slowly turning over to him many responsibilities. The squire trusted him implicitly and appreciated the Jew’s honesty, reliability, and faithful service.

The squire’s relationship and bond with the villager became so deep that, being childless, he transferred ownership of his entire estate, which included that village and the nearby town and its surrounding lands, to the Jew. Feeling that now everything was in good hands, the squire took leave and went abroad after having given the Jew legal title to that area.

The Baal Shem Tov explained. “A change of fortune was awaiting him in the future but not in that place. It was necessary to bring him to the end of his rope so that he would be forced to leave and settle elsewhere. That is exactly what happened.

It’s sometimes hard for us to accept, but sometimes we need to see how even when we have difficult times, G-d is just trying to make sure we are maximizing our blessings!

Have a great week!

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