The Mailman’s Name


Someone came to his rebbe and said, “I used to have a good parnassah, but I lost that job. Now I don’t know how I will support myself, and I’m very worried…”

The rebbe asked him, “Do you have a mailbox?”

The man was confused by this question, as it seemed irrelevant to the discussion. Out of respect, he answered that he has a mailbox.

“Who is your mailman?”

“I don’t know his name.”

“Is the mail you receive important to you?”

“It’s very important, because sometimes I get cash in the mail. Even the bills are important to me, since I have to pay them. I also receive invitations and other important letters. The mail is therefore certainly important to me.”

“So if it’s important to you, why don’t you find out the name of the mailman who brings you the mail?”

“I don’t care who delivers the mail. His name can be Frank or Fred or Jim; what difference does it make to me. All I care about is that the mail should be delivered. The person that brings it is insignificant.”

Singing in the tune of Gemara learning, the rebbe replied, “So why are you so concerned about your parnassah?  Parnassah is sent by Hashem, and the work people do are like the mailman who brings it. It shouldn’t make a difference to us to know exactly by which means Hashem will send us the parnassah. Until now you earned your parnassah through your work, but you lost that job, so Hashem will send it a different way. The name of the mailman isn’t so important, and similarly, the name of the means isn’t important. Hashem has many means to support you.”  ~ R’ Elimelech Biderman Shlita

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