How To Bribe Hashem In This World
And I also heard the cries of the sons of Israel” (Sh’mot 6: 5)
The Sages explained why the words and also in the verse above are not superfluous. This is the way of the Creator— when a man hears the cry of his fellow and is filled with compassion, and removes his sorrow and pain, Hashem will listen to the sound of his pain and send him salvation and mercy.
Do you need salvation and heavenly blessing?!
There’s a segulah the sages mention that ensures heavenly blessing and salvation. “Hashem is merciful to one who is merciful to his fellowman.” (Shabbat 151b) This means that even somebody who doesn’t have enough virtue will be showered with divine mercy if he takes pity on and helps his fellowman who is in distress.
Yankel from Cracow came to see the Chofetz Chaim. He reported that the creator blessed him with extensive wealth. The Chofetz Chaim asked him what the source for this wealth is. Yankel explained that he buys a bundle of firewood for 10 rubles in Russia and sells for 200 rubles that it costs in Poland. His trick is that the border guards don’t stop him so he avoids paying hefty tariffs and pockets all the profit. This is the secret of his massive wealth.
“Aren’t you afraid of being caught smuggling and sentenced to death?” asked the Chofetz Chaim.
Yankel explained that a Jew uses resourcefulness to overcome any hurdle. At first he bribed the guard every time he crossed over from Russia to Poland. Finally, one day he asked the guard how much money he earns every month. The guard told him that he earns 40 rubles a month. Yankel offered to pay him 200 rubles and now the guard turns blind every time Yankel smuggles firewood into Poland. This is the secret of his enormous wealth.
The Chafetz Chaim asked Yankel to repeat the entire story three more times. Yankel asked the Chafetz Chaim to bless the guard to live long as he is aging and who knows whether the new guard will accept bribes?
The Chafetz Chaim although at an advanced age, ran to his Yeshiva and retold the entire episode passionately.
“The man standing here bribed the border guard who not only didn’t kill him on the spot but his bribe made him excessively wealthy!”
This is a lesson for all of us. We can bribe Hashem as it were to not only look away from our misdeeds but actually shower us with great fortune even when we are remiss.
The Meharsha writes that in this world we can appease Hashem with words i.e. prayer and bribe Him with money i.e. giving charity. (Brachot 28b)
(Rabbi Elimelech Biderman Va’era 2017)