I have a dilemma. I have just started a new employment position. In this industry, I have only Saturday and Sunday to conduct business. I hate it. This means that, yes, I am violating all the Shabbat rules.

But at the same time, this job is the best thing that has happened to me. This job is the culmination of all my hard work in school, and the company is great. I love the job, and I have something I have never had before: friends. I am making money and I finally have a life, a life with friends.

Do I leave the job, or is there some sort of compromise I can make?


I’m doing my best to relate to your situation, never having been in such a predicament. And from what I can muster, I can already see how difficult it must be. Long-awaited success on so many levels, versus the high price you must pay.

I cannot make the decision. But let me provide some perspective.

Your worry stems from the fact that you finally got what you’ve been hoping for, and it would be tough to give it up. But the One who made it happen for you now, can make it happen again. Why He would decide to give you such a difficult test, only He knows. But your responsibility is to realize that there are other jobs out there—which doesn’t imply that it will be easy, just feasible.

A word about your challenge: The Lubavitcher Rebbe once told someone who was engaged to a non-Jewish woman, “I envy you.” The man was understandably shocked. The Rebbe explained as follows: “You have been given an enormously difficult test. The spiritual and moral growth you will experience if you successfully withstand the test far exceeds anything I can imagine. I envy the opportunity you have to develop your soul’s muscles.” I think the same can apply to you.

You are facing the challenge of Shabbat, a test that Jewish immigrants to the USA faced in the first half of the 20th century. Those who withstood the test were able to inspire their children to follow in their footsteps, because they had experienced the battle and won. They could honestly tell their children that Shabbat was of utmost importance, and their words were meaningful—they had their lost jobs to back them up. Others didn’t find the strength to withstand the monumental test. What happened to their children? What legacy did they impart to the next generation?

Again, I’m not judging you or them—I’m just trying to give a little perspective, the larger picture.

You stand at the threshold now. Hang in there and make the right choice.

Rabbi Moshe Goldman for