Minute 809: Job Description

The excitement was building as the date approached for their departure to Eretz Yisrael, but today was the day for the family’s dreaded visit to the passport office. After waiting quite a while, the Levys were seated at individual desks with government clerks. Each was handed a form to fill out and return to the clerk with the necessary documentation.

Mrs. Levy was her meticulous self, neatly filling in all the required information, until she reached the space that asked her to indicate her occupation. She paused and stared at the form with a tense look on her face.

“What’s the matter?” Mr. Levy inquired.

“I’m stuck,” Mrs. Levy replied. “I can’t answer this question.”

“What question is it?” her husband asked. “It’s all personal information. You can’t get it wrong. It’s not a school exam.”

“It wants my occupation,” she replied, “and I don’t have one. I’m only a housewife and mother. I can’t write that.”

Now that he understood her problem, Mr. Levy suggested, “Put down ‘homemaker.’ That’s a commendable profession.”

Harav Samson Raphael Hirsch, zt”l,  wrote: “The wife is the builder of the home, and this is no simple task. The guidance of domestic life entrusted to her hands, comprises an abundance of seemingly minor relationships, but the wise handling of these can be so decisive for the comfort, prosperity and happiness of the home that simple wisdom is not sufficient. Rather a whole combination of knowledge, insight, abilities and skills as well as moral virtue and spiritual excellence make up the art of the wifely home-builder” (Wisdom of Mishlei, p. 246).

Low self-esteem may be sourced in a poorly written job description. Consider the real worth of what you do and see yourself in a different light.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

…as long as we don’t fully utilize our own abilities, we can’t expect any siyatta diShmaya (help from Heaven) beyond the normal way things operate in the world. First we have to fulfill our responsibility and do everything we are capable of doing, and only then will we receive extra help from Heaven — and Hashem will even alter the laws of nature for our sakes! (Harav Nissim Yagen, Netivei Ohr [Alef – Tav], p. 575)