"You might say to yourself, my might and the power
of my hand have gained me this wealth." Deuteronomy 8:17
Moses warned the Israelites that upon entering Canaan and inheriting a prosperous and fertile
land "flowing with milk and honey" they should not think that their own strength had made them wealthy. Rather, they should
be aware that this land was a Divine gift.
For that generation, the challenge was not too difficult, because as Moses had pointed out to them earlier, they had
personally experienced forty years of miraculous survival in the desert wilderness, fed by the daily manna and watered by
a spring which accompanied them on their journeys. With such manifestations of Divine wonders, they would not be likely to
ascribe any future success to their own strength and cunning. Today, however, many centuries away from the Biblical times,
we may think that the world operates purely by natural law. That we can determine our own destiny, in which success or failures
are due to how much effort we exert.
Thus, Moses' message was intended for us even more than for his own generation. True, we are required to work, and the
Torah states that Yahveh will bless the work of "our hands" (Deuteronomy 14:29) but we should not lose sight of the
fact that the Divine Blessing, not brains, ultimately determines our fortune. The only difference between today and Moses'
time is that there, Yahveh's hand was manifest everywhere, today, however, it is mostly concealed.