Dear TLS: I have a friend who is a married man and financially hurting. One day as this man was telling me of his troubles in finding a job to support his family I interrupted him to offer a suggestion. My suggestion was simple; work at one of the local grocery store until he could find a better job that he was more interested in. My friend did not even take my suggestion seriously. I pressed the issue and pointed out that it would at least help him put food on the table. Nevertheless, my suggestion fell on deaf ears.
In these hard economic times I baffled as to why people still have such high standards. Is their kovod (honor) so important that they would rather see their family go hungry or without basic necessities, rather than work a job that they see as beneath them? Does not the Torah teach us to be humble and refrain from arrogance? Is this message of the Torah also falling on deaf ears?
The friend I speak of is a true ben Torah and a all around descent guy. However, I believe in this matter his perspective on life is a bit distorted. He obviously forgets that Hillel was a wood-chopper, Rabbi Yochanan was a shoe-maker, Rabbi Yehoshua was a blacksmith, and even the Chofetz Chaim worked a cash register from time to time. The Mesilyas Yesharim points out that one who puts emphasis on his position in this world is a fool. The only important thing is that one make an honest living and focus on avodas Hashem (serving G-d).
There is a mitzvah to support ones family, but there is no issur to work an honest job that might not have the prestige that one would like.
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