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Just Getting Started

Friday, 22 October, 2021 - 7:27 am

Wherever I go, I see signs that say, “WE’RE HIRING!” Today I was in a store that advertised a finder’s fee of $500 immediate cash for anyone that found an employee.

My friends in retail, services and professional fields all tell me the same thing. We are short-staffed and cannot find anyone to hire. Bonuses and benefits don’t seem to be doing the trick.

In fact, at the Chabad Jewish Center, we are also looking to hire secretarial help. Good luck to us…

Nobody seems to know the root cause of this dearth of employees. Is it still due to the pandemic? Is it due to the government support and handouts? Is it simply a changing psyche within American culture? Is it due to people retiring at a younger age?

Regardless of the cause, the result remains the same. More and more people are simply not working.


In this week’s Parsha of Vayeira we read about Avraham recovering from circumcision. The Torah relates that “he was he was sitting at the entrance of the tent when the day was hot.”

The Talmud explains that he was sitting at the entrance of his tent “to see whether there were any passersby whom he would bring into his house.” In other words, he was looking to do a mitzvah, the commandment of Hachnasat Orchim, hospitality to guests.

Let’s view this with some background. Avraham is now recovering from an intense surgery at the age of ninety-nine. Instead of convalescing indoors, he sits out in the hot sun to search for guests.

From the last Torah portion it is very evident that Avraham led a life full of good deeds and was a successful trailblazer in his campaign to spread the belief in ethical monotheism. 

At 99 years old, wasn’t it time to sit back and let others do the heavy lifting? Was he not due some R&R?

Yet Avraham realized that retirement applies only to a job, not to a way of life. If I’m still alive, Avraham teaches, there must be something important for me to contribute.

In fact, at 99, he began a brand new life. A life of a new bond and covenant with G-d (circumcision).

When we look at our retirees or our suddenly out-of-work selves, let’s remember the model and lesson of Avraham. Retiring from employment may be an end to a career, but it’s also an opportunity to start a new mission, a new contribution to society.

It’s never too old to be an important contributor.

I have news for you. If your time of contributing to this world and others was over, you would not be alive.

But, you are. So, take advantage of every moment and find ways that only you can contribute!

Comments on: Just Getting Started

Leon Rogson wrote...

Lovely drash.