Monday, April 2, 2012

Talking to Hashem

The Klausenberger Rebbe used to tell a story on Pesach: There was a tzaddik (righteous person) who decided one year that he was going to out-due all of his work in previous years in regard to the mitzvah of clearing the house of chometz (leavened bread, which is prohibited on the Passover holiday). His soul was on fire as the month of Adar came to a close and the month of Nissan began. This year he would do all the shopping for food himself. He would bake the matzah by hand, supervising the entire process himself in the matzah factory. He would scrub the floors, clean out the cupboards, and inspect every item in the house down to the last strap and shoelace. He worked until the house was completely clean and chometz-free.

When it came time for the seder meal the man had an unusual feeling of exhilaration. He lowered his spoon into his soup, and gasped. There was a wheat kernel in the soup! This now rendered the soup, the pot it was cooked in, and all of the utensils used for making and serving the soup, unfit. All of those weeks; all of that work for naught. He now had chometz in his home.

Through kabbalistic methods he inquired of the heavens, "how could it happen? How did it come to be?" The answer that came was that a bird had flown over the house, and dropped the kernel of wheat down the chimney. The kernel dropped down straight into the pot of soup that was being cooked underneath. The reason that the man was sent this tiny kernel which disrupted the entire festival? It was because in all of his weeks of preparations he had never asked from a blessing from above. He relied solely on his own efforts.

We could run ourselves ragged in an effort to make an endeavor successful. But we, down below, can only do so much. Sometimes it only takes a few minutes of talking to G-d, and asking for his blessing for our undertaking to be met with success.

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