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Honoring The Boss

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According to Wikipedia, in the United States and Canada, October 16 is the traditional day for employees to thank their bosses. In honor of “Boss’s Day,” Jewish Treats presents wise words from the Talmud regarding the “Ultimate Boss” – the Al-mighty!

In the second chapter of Ethics of the Fathers it is written:

“Rabbi Elazar said: …Know before whom you toil and who is your employer who shall pay you the reward of your labor” (2:19).

The world was created by God as a home for His foremost creation–the human being. When the first human beings were created, however, they were given the task of caring for the world. It’s a tough job that humanity continues to struggle to fulfill. There are many aspects of caring for the world, both physical and spiritual. One interpretation of the command to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:6) is that the Jewish people are meant to maintain the spiritual health of the world.

Thinking of Judaism as a job may make it seem burdensome rather than the joyful lifestyle that it truly is. However, only two verses later in the Mishna, Rabbi Tarfon is quoted as saying: “It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task. Yet, you are not free to desist from it. If you have studied much in the Torah much reward will be given you, for faithful is your Employer who shall pay you the reward of your labor. And know that the reward for the righteous shall be in the time to come” (2:21).

In other words, do your best and know that God, the Ultimate Boss, always makes sure that payment is rendered.

Copyright © 2013 NJOP. All rights reserved.

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