Human Religious Weakness Is a Fact of Life

The Mishna uses the following parable for this world (Avos 2:15):

רבי טרפון אומר, היום קצר והמלאכה מרבה, והפועלים עצלים, והשכר הרבה, ובעל הבית דוחק

Rabbi Tarfon would say: The day is short, the work is much, the workers are lazy, the reward is great, and the Master is pressing. (Translation.)

Now, some Jews wonder, gritting their teeth, why the workers are lazy. If only they could force-feed Mussar to everyone… But there is nothing strange about this.

Take the worldly equivalent. There, too, the workday is short and the work long. This is because all resources are scarce, and time, too, is a resource. And while salaries can be impressive, there is an inherent Marxian “contradiction” between the worker and the “capitalist” employer. The employee gets a check, not the fruit of his “alienated” labor, so his motivation is necessarily weaker…

And yet, even without the fantasy “Marxist man”, whaddya know? Bridges are built and software sold. Could things be better? No. There must forever be hires and HRs. (Why? Tzei ulemad.)

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