LUCK OR DIVINE PROVIDENCE?
Now that we are in the month of Kislev, the month of geula and nissim (and I would add, the month of light), we certainly can learn many lessons from this month.
One thing that I was thinking about recently is the idea of “luck”, or mazal. And of course the idea of coincidence as well. So many people chalk various events up to coincidence or to luck.
They fail to delve deeper.
But I think the dreidel is a great example of this idea. It spins and spins and drops on one of the letters. Is that luck? Is it coincidence? Or is it Divine Providence?
Our lives are like that dreidel. Constantly spinning around with various matters, never sure how things will end up. But the final result is truly Divine Providence.
It is not an accident if the dreidel lands on gimmel. In life sometimes things land on gimmel and sometimes we end up with shin. But in all cases the guiding force behind everything determines the results. Of course our prayers influence the outcome but everything, every little or big event, is Divine Providence. Nothing is by chance. Nothing is coincidence. And I would venture to say nothing is luck. Not for a Jew. For a Jew luck, or mazal, are also part of Divine Providence.
And if things look difficult, just keep spinning...keep going.... eventually you will get gimmel! As you begin to understand and acknowledge the Divine force in everything, you will merit to see things in a more openly revealed good way. The key is to recognize Who runs the world, Who controls every aspect of life (as the Baal Shem Tov taught that even a leaf turning over in the wind is controlled by Divine Providence for a purpose). And speaking of the Baal Shem Tov, this is the month to think about Chassidut. Soon will be Yud Tet Kislev, the chag hageulah of the Baal haTanya, and the victory of Chassidut, of light over darkness. This is the month where light clearly wins: the idea of Yud Tet Kislev and the idea of Chanukah. So keep on adding light. The more light, the more kedusha, automatically kelipa and impurity is nullified. So if you find yourself in a situation of darkness, increase in light.
And commit yourself to learning Tanya, to learning Chassidut and pnimiyut ha Torah. That is the way to bring Moshiach and merit to see Divine Providence in everything. So I wish everyone a chag hageulah sameach, a Chanukah sameach and may we merit redemption now!