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The Sefarim discuss (see Hobot Halevavot, Michtav MeEliyahu etc.) the idea of being Mishtadel (making an effort) for one's livelihood but believing that the Hishtadlut (effort) has absolutely nothing to do with one's income.

I have heard from Rav Yoel Ashruv that the proper Hishtadlut one should do is as follows, for example: if nature demands that one work 60 hours a week to get a livelihood, he should work 45 or 50 hours a week.

What is the source for the words of Rav Ashruv? I asked my older brother who says he's never heard of such a thing. What do the sources have to say about how much Hishtadlut one should do for livelihood?

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I once heard from a rabbi that the amount that someone has to work is directly proportional to his emunah. So, basically, you should work as little as possible such that you still have emunah that you'll be ok. –  Daniel Aug 9 '13 at 16:58
    
@Daniel I've heard that plenty of times but again it didn't come with a source. –  Hacham Gabriel Aug 9 '13 at 17:08
    
related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/29444/… –  Lee Aug 18 '13 at 14:11

3 Answers 3

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To add to Rays answer from Chovos Halevovos "Shaar Habitachon" Gate 4 Chap. 4

SECOND CATEGORY - POSSESSIONS AND MEANS OF EARNING A LIVELIHOOD

For the second category, the matters of man's possessions, means of financial gain in his various pursuits, whether in commerce, skilled trades, peddling, business management, official appointments, property rentals, banking, work of kings, treasurers, contracting, writing work, other types of work, going to faraway deserts and seas, and other similar things, from what people toil in to amass money, and increase the superfluous. The proper way of trust in the Al-mighty for this is to engage in the means which G-d has made available to him to the extent necessary for his maintenance and sufficient for his needs of this world (i.e. his minimum necessary needs only - TL).

And if the Creator will decree for him more than this, it will come to him without trouble or exertion, provided he trusts in the Al-mighty for it and does not excessively pursue the means nor inwardly trust in them in his heart.

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see the commentary there by Rav Yaakov Emden who qualifies this statement to mean one has to be smart about it. a farmer for example, cannot live on one day at a time. he must plan his work and livelihood for the whole year. this is why I wrote "as short-term as possible" in my answer –  ray Aug 15 '13 at 9:50

don't know about Rav Ashruv but regarding your last question "What do the sources have to say about how much Hishtadlut one should do for livelihood?"

But if, from the beginning, we did not open a door to the desires and satisfy their wants, nor accustom ourselves to indulge in superfluous things and chase after them, but instead we reply to the yetzer that we have no need for the superfluous things, and that we already have enough mental anxiety in working to obtain what we need, and if G-d sends us extra income without our having to trouble our heart or straining mind for it, we will spend them in the right and proper manner as duty dictates, and if this does not happen, we will be satisfied with the basic necessities, and won't require more than this, then the [power of the] yetzer will be broken and smitten.

from Chovos Halevavos Gate 5 ch.5

seems from here the proper hishtadlut is in obtaining the minimum needs. The timespan seems to be as short-term as possible as brought down in the gate 4 ch.5:

"The one who trusts in G-d will not mourn if his requests are denied, or if he loses something he loves, and he will not hoard possessions nor be troubled by more than his day's needs"

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Rav Yoshiahu Pinto שליט"א writes in his book דברי יאשיאהו דף כט' that one should do Hishtadlut according to what he thinks that nature requires (after I read this my brother said that Rav Bension Shafier says the same).

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Bitochon is only good if one believes in G-d. The proof is what he does the rest of the time. The mishna says that one has never seen a (wild) animal working for a living. The only reason we have to work is because our deeds are no good. –  user2800 Aug 14 '13 at 8:14
    
I'm not sure what you're saying. –  Hacham Gabriel Aug 15 '13 at 12:44
    
Hacham Gabriel quite simple really. The only people who have real bitachon are those that bentch and say in 'racheim' I dont want charity or loans from others. Only what comes from your(G-ds) open and wide hand. All those 'takers' have no 'Jewish' bitachon whatsoever. However they are 'dressed'. –  user2800 Aug 15 '13 at 14:40
    
@annex so you're saying Hacham Ovadia doesn't have Bitachon? –  Hacham Gabriel Aug 16 '13 at 3:13
    
@ Hacham GabrielI dont remember mentioning him or anyone else. And I am not impressed by titles either. They dont prove this either way. –  user2800 Aug 16 '13 at 5:21

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