Extracted from R’ Abraham Twerski’s “Four Chassidic Masters,” page 47:
“During their wanderings, Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk and Rebbe Zusia stopped off at an inn. Since no rooms were available, they lept on benches in the dining area. When the peasents came in and drank to intoxication, they began to dance in a circle. Whenever one particular peasant passed the bench on which Rebbe Zusia was sleeping, he delivered a hard blow, awakening the sleeper.
After several turns of the circle, Rebbe Elimelech said, “Brother, why should you be getting all the petch (blows)? I deserve some petch, too.” Rebbe Zusia consented, and they traded places.
Upon the next turn of the dancers, just as the peasant was about to deliver a blow, his buddy said to him, “Why do you always hit the Jew on this bench? Why don’t you hit the Jew on the next bench?” The buddy complied, again hitting Rebbe Zusia, who was now on the other bench.
Rebbe Zusia said, “if it is bashert that Zusia should get petch, then Zusia will get petch.”
The concept of bashert is unclear. We are told that the income a person will earn each year is decreed on Rosh HaShana. Why, then, do we all exert outselves for parnassah? The issue of bitachon versus hishtadlus is discussed in many sifrei mussar, and the mussar authorities provide guidelines.”
Personally, I’ve heard R’ Yehudah Shmulewitz Shlita say that “BaShert” is nonsense. I personally don’t know enough of the topic at this time to provide any definitive answer.
All I know is that, when I work hard in trying to accomplish what I desire to accomplish, and pray that I will be successful in what I endeavour, more often than not I find that Hashem provides me with whatever I need. The Beatles summed it up nicely in their song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just-might-find, you’ll always, get-what-you-need! Wee-eee-eee-ooh!” In the end, we do what we need to, and if things work out, then they were meant to work out, if not, not. Just smile and move along.
Personally, I don’t understand it, but I live it.
I like Zusia-isms!