The Contract That Was Worth Dirt



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    The Contract That Was Worth Dirt

    Reuven Gamliel is an earthworks contractor. He is responsible for planning and carrying out construction projects for land preparation. He spends his days moving large amounts of dirt or rocks, making roads, laying train tracks, and flattening the ground. He does this work with help from bulldozers, diggers, tractors, and dump trucks • Full Article

    Beis Moshiach

    Reuven Gamliel is an earthworks contractor. He is responsible for planning and carrying out construction projects for land preparation. He spends his days moving large amounts of dirt or rocks, making roads, laying train tracks, and flattening the ground. He does this work with help from bulldozers, diggers, tractors, and dump trucks.

    Reuven is in charge of workers and jobs all over Eretz Yisrael. One day, he noticed an interesting advertisement in the newspaper. The ad was from a company that needed help from an expert earthworks contractor. Anyone with experience could submit their price and application to the company with all their work details. They needed help with a yishuv in the south of Israel. Underground tunnels had to be dug and then covered over. It would be a lot of work.

    Reuven read the advertisement many times over, went through all the details, and found the job exciting. “I need to apply,” he thought. “This is a big job. I could make a lot of money. I’ve never had such an opportunity. It’s the deal of a lifetime!”

    Reuven contacted the office and applied for the job. They sent him a contract with the details of the job and the terms of how he would get paid. Reuven read the agreement again and again, and it all looked excellent. He had almost signed it when he suddenly remembered –

    “I’m not signing on any deal without writing to the Rebbe. I’ve written to the Rebbe in the past, and I will do so now too, even though it all looks fine.”

    Reuven wrote a letter to the Rebbe and put it between the pages of a volume of Igros Kodesh. As always, he didn’t decide on his own; he asked a mashpia to look at the Rebbe’s letter and tell him what it said. Reuven asked Rabbi Gluckowsky, the Rav of the Chabad community in Rechovot, for help.

    Rabbi Gluckowsky read the letter again and again. From the doubtful look on his face, it didn’t seem there was a bracha for the job.

    “What does the Rebbe say?” asked Reuven, his heart beating faster.

    “I don’t see a bracha from the Rebbe for this job, but what I do see is that you need to examine the contract very carefully.”

    Reuven was very disappointed. Did this mean he would have to pass on this wonderful opportunity? He tried strengthening his trust in what the Rebbe said. “The Rebbe, no doubt, sees things we don’t see,” he repeated to himself.

    Reuven returned home. He was very interested in the big and promising job, but from what the Rebbe wrote, it seemed that something was not so perfect with it. “I’ll look at the contract again,” he finally decided. “If I see that all is well, I’ll sign it.”

    Feeling calmer, he sat down and opened the contract. He began reading it, word by word, carefully examining each paragraph, every line, every letter, including short lines and abbreviations. He did not miss a word.

    “It’s all perfectly in order,” he said to himself. “There’s nothing problematic about it.”

    Then, feeling sure of himself, he called the construction company’s office.

    “I’m interested in the job,” he told them. “When can I come and sign the contract?”

    The project manager was pleased and set a date for a meeting. They would both sign the contract and Reuven could start working.

    On the appointed day, he entered the building and sat in the manager’s office. After shaking hands and exchanging a few words, they got down to business: signing the contract.

    Reuven knew the contract by heart since he had gone over it so many times at home. Now all he had to do was sign his name.

    He was thinking about all the money he was going to make. This was the deal of his life, and he was excited.

    Then suddenly, at the very last moment before signing the contract, the Rebbe’s instruction to read it well came back to his mind.

    “One minute,” he said to himself. “Before I sign, I’m going to look this contract over again, even though I read it at home.” He put his pen down on the desk while the manager asked himself why Reuven was taking so long.

    “I want to read what I’m signing,” Reuven explained and began reading, word by word.

    Then, suddenly… he discovered a problem. It was a trick.

    On the contract he was about to sign, a few words had been added: “The earthworks contractor will have to lay dirt on a long list of other areas around the worksite.”

    “What?!” shouted Reuven. “This is not the agreement you sent to me! You added this!”

    Reuven angrily threw the contract on the desk and stormed out of the office before the shocked manager could stop him.

    Reuven got into his car and tried to catch his breath. “The Rebbe saved me! If I’d taken this job and signed this contract, I would have lost so much money!” He never stopped thanking Hashem for sending the Rebbe, a leader in this generation, to save him from this disaster of a job.

    “The Rebbe sees beyond what human beings can see,” he concluded. “How thankful we should be for meriting connection with the Rebbe.”

    *

    The magazine can be obtained in stores around Crown Heights. To purchase a subscription, please go to: bmoshiach.org

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