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FRUMToronto Articles Parsha Pearls

Devrei Torah relating to the weekly Parsha.

Blog Image: Hakhel.jpg
Parshas Behar - ON BITACHON
In this week’s Parsha, Behar, we find one of the paradigm mitzvos given to us by Hashem in order to affirm and strengthen our Bitachon--trust--the mitzvah of Shmitta.  We are incredibly commanded to let the source of our Parnassah lay fallow and open to all, and are, in turn, promised that we will be (according to the laws of nature, miraculously) sustained and actually will prosper until new crops begin to grow again in the eighth year (Vayikra 25:21).  It is important, very important, for us to realize, however, that the mitzvah of Bitachon is not related only to the Sabbatical Year that we are in--or even to the strict requirement that we not work one day a week on Shabbos Kodesh.  Rather, our Bitachon is built-up of even smaller building blocks, tangible to all on a very recurring basis.

Every day, we begin our morning prayers with the following words: “Elokai Neshama Shenasata Bi...--My Hashem, the soul You placed within me is pure.  You created it, You fashioned it, You breathed it into me, You safeguard it within me, and eventually You will take it from me, and restore it to me in Time to Come.  As long as the soul is within me, I gratefully thank You Hashem, my Hashem and the Hashem of my forefathers, Master of all works....” (Translated from The Complete Artscroll Siddur).

The thought conveyed by “Elokai Neshama” is an essential component of our Bitachon.  It is Hashem, and not us, who owns--and is in charge of--our most, most, precious possession--our very life.  Every breathing moment, every thought process, every act of communication, every Mitzvah that we perform, every step that we take, is a direct, absolute and tangible outright gift--a full and free grant from Hashem.

Is this too frightening, daunting, or even too intrusive for us to bear?  Absolutely not!  Quite to the contrary, writes the Chovos HaLevavos (at the beginning of the Sha’ar HaBitachon): “This brings Menuchas HaNefesh”--tranquility and peace of mind--to us, for we know and appreciate that there is no such thing as chance, no coincidence, no accidents of any kind, ever or at all.  There is, succinctly stated, nothing that happens--whether perceived by us as good or as bad--without Hashem’s express direction.  This, in turn, should eliminate all worry, for everything that Hashem does is out of infinite and unabated love--and for our utter, absolute, and complete benefit, as we recite in the Birchas HaMazon--She’bechal Yom V’yom Hu Haitiv, Hu Maitiv--every single day He did good, He does good, and He will do good to us....

Imagine that you had the best specialist in the world taking care of your situation--legal, medical, financial or otherwise.  When the other side won a legal argument, when the medication did not work as expected, or when the stock market went down a bit, there would be a pause for concern, perhaps some rethinking and some jitters.  Not so with Hashem, who is perfect, faultless and our eternal and omniscient Father.  This peace of mind should stay with us in all circumstances.

With this awareness, HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, (Sifsei Chaim, Middos V’Avodas Hashem volume I, page 587) writes that we can better understand the words of the Shelah HaKadosh (on the topic “Emes V’Emuna”).  The Shelah teaches that prior to undertaking any act or item of accomplishment such as buying, selling, meeting with someone, etc. one should say “Ani Botayach BaShem--I believe in Hashem,” recognizing that the act and its outcome is totally in Hashem’s hands, and then relate it to the specific action or event in front of you.  This recognition, appreciation, and actual statement, will have the added benefit of forging a greater bond between your infinite Father and you as his son, and will help to eliminate some of the worst human character traits possible--anger at people for what they have done or not done for you; jealousy of others who were successful in doing the same thing when you were not; and haughtiness and pride over your personal ingenuity and craftiness.

Rebbe Yisroel Salanter, Z’tl, in letters to his son on Bitachon (Ohr Yisroel, Letters 24-25), additionally advises him to draw upon the words of our Tefilos, and the words of Tehillim, to inspire and develop a full faith and trust that our very being--and our every being--is in Hashem’s great Hands.  For example, we recite in Pesukei D’Zimra, “Ashrei SheKel Yaakov B’Ezro”--Praiseworthy is one whose hope is in Hashem--He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the sea and all that is in them, He safeguards truth forever….  In fact, once you take note, you will find that Pesukim relating to Bitachon abound--“Kavei El Hashem…” (Tehillim 27:14); “Einai Tomid El Hashem…” (Tehillim 25:15)....

Bitachon is such a crucial aspect of our existence.  We must take the time out to recite Elokai Neshama with Kavannah every morning, to be fluent with a few Pesukim (from our davening or otherwise) relating to Bitachon which should calm us and put the actions and events of our life in Torah perspective, and follow the advice of the Shelah HaKadosh--start by saying the words “Ani Boteach Ba’Shem” in the everyday and the not-so everyday circumstances and occurrences that we face or that come our way--no--that Hashem brings our way!!

Reprinted with permission from Hakhel MIS

Posted 5/15/2008 12:00 AM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)

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