Solely In Black and White: Bitachon: a Thought for Rosh Hashana

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bitachon: a Thought for Rosh Hashana


Here is a excerpt from the Chazon Ish’s Mussar Sefer: Emunah U’Bitachon (Faith and Trust) perek beis (chapter 2):   


There is an old misconception rooted in the hearts of many when it comes to the concept of trust in Hashem [bitachon]. This term, used by the righteous to name a celebrated and central character trait, has undergone a change, and has mistakenly become a term to describe the obligation to believe in any situation a person finds himself in where he faces an undecided future with two ways apparent — one good and the other not — that surely the good outcome will be the one to occur; if one is doubtful and fears the possibility of the opposite of good occurring, he is lacking in trust in Hashem. This understanding of trust is not correct, for as long as the future has not been revealed through prophecy, the future is not decided, for who knows Hashem's judgments and rewards? No — trusting in Hashem is not that, but rather the belief that nothing happens by chance, and that everything that occurs under the sun is the result of a decree of the Almighty.

When a person encounters an event that according to the ways of the world involves personal danger to him, it is natural to fear the ways of the world; his intense feelings weaken his resolve to remember that we do not live by chance, and that there is nothing stopping the Almighty from saving him and from arranging causes that will change the outcome. When one exercises self-restraint at such a difficult time and inter nalizes the known truth that this is not a chance misfortune but rather it is all from Hashem, blessed be He, for better or for worse; when one allows one's faith to alleviate the fear and give one the courage to believe in the possibility of salva tion; when one allows oneself to understand that nothing that one is facing necessarily tends more towards a bad outcome than a good one — then one has achieved the trait of trust in Hashem.

Part of this trait of trust is to be staunch in one's faith even when one contemplates the possibility of suffering; still, one's heart maintains its awareness that this is not a chance mis fortune, for there are no chance occurrences in the world at all — everything is from Him, blessed be He.

In addition, the efforts to counter the danger that people by nature make, are modified in the case of one who trusts: instead of courting wealthy and influential people, and search ing for useless strategies, he who trusts in Hashem will exam ine his deeds and turn his heart to repentance, prayer and charity, in order to remove the evil decree from himself.

Just a thought...

Wishing everyone a kesiva v’chasima tova!

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