Who Even Noticed?
By Nachum Mohl
Most people go through life without even noticing that something greater than themselves is controlling their life, their fate and their world. Sometimes it can be depressing that so many people delude themselves into thinking that the world is theirs for better or worse, or as John F. Kennedy said “Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.” The tragic irony is that his assassination was man made and yet he was unable to overcome it.
It is strange, perhaps, that G-d can create the world and so many people not know anything about Him, never feeling His presence and not even caring to look. For most people the world is a mundane gross blob that somehow happened and continues to happen and we in the middle of all of this mess somehow evolved and for what purpose? It seems to chase the almighty dollar.
This can be compared to a wedding celebration that was made by a great man, like a president or king, for his daughter. In our case, the king was going to marry off his daughter, the princes, so he sent his aides and ministers out to rent a fashionable and fitting wedding hall. The aides spoke to the owner of the wedding hall about arrangements, catering, music, etc. The owner, of course was interested in the business so they drew up an business agreement.
The owner then told the cook to prepare the food and make certain that it was tasty and fit for the important client, the king, that was to marry off his daughter. The waiters were instructed on how to serve, etc.
On the day of the wedding the owner rose early so that he would be able to personally supervise the cook and kitchen help as they made their preparations. He wanted to make certain that the meal that was furnished was indeed the finest feast that could possibly be prepared. He watched over the waiters to make certain that they not only dressed properly, brought the food on time, but also acted in a extremely dignified and courteous fashion.
When the wedding was over, the aides paid the owner of the hall and thanked him. The king was so impressed with the food, music and service rendered that he personally came over to shake the hand of the owner and give him his personal thanks for a wonderful evening and a job well done. He even gave the owner of the hall some extra money as a tip to be split amongst the personnel for a job well done..
The owner was obviously impressed with the handshake and tip, but still he had to supervise the cleaning help to insure that the hall would be presentable for the next client on the next day. Left over food was gathered and given to a charity and also to a few beggars that came to the hall late at night after all was finished.
Life is a bit like the above story. Few people ever get to see the king. Most people are to busy doing their own little jobs to even notice that he is in their presence. In our little story, the owner was certainly aware that he was with him, but he was too concerned that the jobs be done properly so he did not take time out to try to meet the president. The cook and his helper were only concerned with making delicious food and that took up their time.
The waiters, who could have actually paused to gaze at the king were too busy with doing their work properly so that they could keep their jobs and not just get paid, but also to get a nice tip. They worked for money not because they enjoyed what they did. They used the money to 'enjoy life'.
The cleaning man certainly did not pay any attention to who made the 'simcha'. To him, it did not manner. He cleaned up the hall after the events and was paid. He did his job for money; it did not matter who made the wedding; as long as he got paid he was happy.
The people who received the left-overs never cared who gave them the food. They were thankful that they had food to eat. They never even cared to think about where the food came from. For them the food was important, and from whose event it came had no importance.
As we pass through life we meet many types of people. Many are like the beggars, give them some material comfort and they don't care at all about any thing. Where the material comes from; who created the world, intellectual questions are not important to them. What is important is only what they get out of it material comfort.
Other people understand that G-d exists, but they could care less about the intricacies of how the world is run. They may go to the synagogue, but their heart and soul are really not into it. Like the cook and the waiters, they could have used the opportunity to try to talk to the king, but were too involved in their work to take the time off. So are many people who go to the synagogue, they come out of a feeling that this is something they need to do, not necessarily with a feeling of getting close to their Maker.
There are a few people in the world like the owner. Although he tries with all of his powers to to his job correct and provide a great evening for the people who are having a 'simcha', still he enjoys knowing that he is working for a greater cause, in our case for the King. Since he is such a dedicated worked he merits a personal meeting and even a handshake from the King.
How many of us can say that we are really working for G-d? Let us face reality, most of us are really working for ourselves. Most people just want to make money so that they can enjoy their petty personal pleasures and worldly comforts. Even those people who do mitzvot, do them for reasons that are personal, such as getting brownie points in heaven, a reward in the next world, or a desire to do the traditional thing, but their conscious intention is not for serving G-d.
Only when we can shake ourselves free from the bonds of the material aspects of the world and the attraction of the physical pleasure and its comforts, only then can we begin to appreciate the world as a creation of G-d’s will. Once we are capable to do that, then we will be lifted up and given the gift of seeing the Master in the midst of His creation.
from the January 2011 Edition of the Jewish Magazine