Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

13 Elul 5763 - September 10, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

The Master Auditor
by Rosally Saltsman

I think that perhaps Hashem is annoyed with me. Perhaps all this financial advice I've been giving has failed to sufficiently take into account that as far as money goes, or matters, He has the final say. I have this feeling because for all my hishtadlus lately, and despite the fact that He is still performing unexpected miracles in my favor, as fast as I am filling up the coffers, they are being emptied in rather unexpected ways.

Allow me to illustrate.

I was offered a rather miraculous loan by a rather accommodating bank manager to cover all my monthly payments, leaving me with a longer-term but lower payment commitment. As I was doing well at the time, Boruch Hashem, I named the amount of money I would need to consolidate and not get deeper into debt. He gave me the amount I asked for and suddenly, I began earning considerably less.

Then, after being downsized at work, I had a further cut of 5% because the institution I work for decided to make an across-the- board cut instead of firing people in light of the economic situation, which was very nice, but still left me with a further unpredicted 5% cut in salary.

Aside from this, one of my students has gone away for the summer, and two who had been studying with me twice a week have begun averaging once every two weeks. One of my occasional students did her matriculation in English, so she's done, and one mother who had told me she wanted her son to start lessons with me, changed her mind. Also, translation work which had been pouring in, began to come at the rate of a slow trickle.

I had decided that as freelancing wasn't the most stable source of income, I would look for another part-time job. Although I was qualified for a number of them, I haven't gotten any yet. And I've been looking.

Now, just in case I still wasn't getting the hint and could chalk all this up to cause and effect, however Divinely orchestrated, something rather unusual happened. I had bought my son a drum set (instrument of his choice, which he's rather good at, but I digress). I had taken it on my credit card, paid it off and returned the credit card. Six months later -- now -- the amount was returned to my bank account. Nobody told me about this and when I discovered I had more money than I thought, I simply figured I had miscalculated, especially after checking with the bank to try to understand the surplus.

Neither the bank nor the credit card company nor the drum supplier and not the place I ordered it from informed me of the refund. I just happened to notice it when I got a statement from the credit card I had officially returned and cancelled. As it turns out, the money was returned due to a skirmish between the supplier and the people I had bought through (it was a deal where you always end up paying later).

So now, I have to pay for the drums (again) with money I don't have because since I assumed there was an error in accounting, I have already used it for other things.

After several phone calls trying to clear up the mystery, I ended up charging the drums to my new credit card which, providentially, I had taken out because I wanted to rent a car for a day at the end of the summer. I asked my son to take the card out of the hiding place he had found for it so that I could charge the drums (again) and pay them off for the next year and a bit.


From all this, it has become apparent to me that the inability to get out of the maelstrom of debt has less to do with my efforts and more to do with what Hashem wants me to be doing as a result of being in this situation which, although it relieves some of my burden of guilt, does little to relieve my burden of debt.

So while I still support all my earlier recommendations, and while I have never doubted that Hashem supports me, I wish to emphasize, with letters of the Blessing of the Full Moon, that all of our efforts are rewarded or thwarted as Hashem sees fit.

How much we earn and how much we spend and how much help we have in the aforementioned is, like everything else, decreed Above and although we must never give up hope or slacken our efforts, we, that is, I, must remember that in the final accounting, everything is in His hands.

Please, Hashem, forgive me my arrogance and please, please... help me pay my bills.


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