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Cut ‘n Paste: My Chanukah Miracle

Baruch Truscott

Despite my concerns, I decided not to begin my job search right away, but to dedicate the month of Elul to learning Torah

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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I t was Rosh Chodesh Elul when our general manager called us into his office. My suspicions were confirmed when he informed us that the company was closing and we were officially out of work. This was the second time for me in a relatively short period and it had taken me a year to find this job. I didn’t relish the thought of pounding the pavement once again, but at least I hadn’t been fired due to poor performance. I’d receive severance pay to tide us over for a couple of months, and I could apply for unemployment benefits. Nonetheless, I was concerned for the future.

Despite my concerns, I decided not to begin my job search right away, but to dedicate the month of Elul to learning Torah. I felt I needed the additional merits more Torah learning would bring. Right after Succos, though, the search was on.

There is a famous saying, at least among jobseekers, that “looking for a job is a full-time job.” There’s so much to do, including social networking, applying for positions online, and preparing one’s résumé. Not to mention all that goes into preparing for an interview.

Here in Eretz Yisrael, one of the buzzwords (and not only among jobseekers), is “protektziya,” essentially the age-old adage: “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”

I found protektziya. At one company, a friend gave my résumé? straight to the CEO. Another friend was one of their star employees, and to top it off, one interviewer was indirectly related to my wife. None of this helped.

I was getting interviews, but time after time, I got the dreaded rejection e-mail: “Thank you for participating in our recruitment process, but we have decided to proceed with more qualified candidates.”

Chazal teach us that when Yosef was in prison, he asked the sar hamashkim to put in a good word for him when he was released. Yosef was punished with an additional two years in prison for this request, since he should have trusted completely in G-d and not felt the need to make such a request.

I realized that perhaps my applications were being rejected because I was relying on the protektziya I had in each company instead of trusting completely in Hashem. Finding the protektziya was the effort I needed to make toward finding a job, but the results were in the Hands of G-d. This is one of the hardest tests we face. We’re so often under the illusion that we’re in control of our lives. Our test is to do our best and then relinquish control to G-d, trusting that everything He does is for our ultimate good.

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