Thank You, Hashem, and thank you, Rebbe Nachman.
We all know that with US economy what it is, jobs don't come easy nowadays.
After working in a difficult environment for quite a few years, I came home from Uman last year after Rosh Hashana and right away, with Hashem's loving kindness, I landed a dream job. I would be the mashgiach (kosher supervisor) and manager of a new kosher bakery in a very posh neighborhood. All the equipment was brand new, and being that I was involved from the ground floor, I was able to lend my artistic talents in many facets, including decorating the store.
Let me back up a minute and let you know, that when I interviewed for this job, as much as I wanted to be hired, I clearly told the owner that I must take off for a week during Rosh Hashana time, as it is my practice as a Breslever Chassid, to go to Rebbe Nachman in Uman. The owner agreed and we had a verbal contract, that I would able to go.
Five months later, and after I had helped build a large customer base, I purchased my golden ticket to Uman. Now the rules had changed, I was told that in order to go, I must find a replacement for my managerial duties, which is not so easy considering the amount of responsibilities I was given. It would take someone months to be up to speed in order to fill in for me. As the time has gotten closer to Rosh Hashana, I told the owner that after a few failed attempts to find a replacement, I didn't succeed. Now, the owner said that he would not pay anyone to train, thereby throwing another brick wall in front of me. I told him that no one would work for free, and if that were his terms, I'd need his help in finding a replacement. He flatly refused, and basically told me how much I was needed during this busy season.
I called a Breslever Rabbi who is my spiritual guide, and asked him what to do. He firmly advised me that he can not tell me what to lose a job in order to come to Uman, and on matters of total dedication - mesirat nefesh - that this had to be my decision entirely.
Frustrated, I went to my wife - my Eishet Chayil - who is my barometer of Hashem, and who would be the first person to tell me if I was in the wrong. My wife told me, that when time comes, I am to lock the shop door and get on that plane to Uman, no matter what the consequences! I went back to the owner and told him, that I am going on this trip, no matter what, and we had an agreement - he gave me a word of honor. But now, his reaction was different.
The boss said, "Uman on Rosh Hashana? If you go, you're fired!" In other words, if I choose Rabbenu Nachman over him, then I won't not have a job there when I return!
I knew that this was my test of emuna in Hashem and in Rabeinu! After work, I went out to the field, cried out to Hashem, and begged him to give me salvation! I received a moment of clarity, and got on the phone to the head of the Vaad of Kashrut (Kosher supervision organization) in my area. I had told him the whole story, and asked him to find me another Job! I was not going to wait to be fired! I didn't want that hanging over my head during Rosh Hashana. I wanted to put my head and heart into the prayers, and not to think about where my next meal was coming from.
30 minutes after I finished my hitbodedut (personal prayer), I got a call back from the Rabbi. He told me that he has a full time position available immediately for me, in a cozy little restaurant, that is much less stressful. The money is not quite as good, but there are many perks, including no problems with trips to Uman this or any other year! I gladly accepted, screamed a huge "Thank You, Hashem" for the immediate salvation. I then had the honor of calling back my boss, and quitting before he could fire me!
I now start my new Job, Good Lord Willing in a few days, and now my mind is already davening by Rabeinu, and I am so looking forward to the achdut (unity) that we all share in Uman, and for a taste of the delicious Schwarma at my new job! Hope to see all of you in Uman soon, and remember what Rabeinu says, "There's No Despair Anywhere", and "Never Be Afraid"! and I will add, never give in and be true to your beliefs, even if they are not popular! May you be signed and sealed for a great New Year!