Eikev 5782 – Harnessing the Power of Bitachon

In Honor of the Esteemed Rosh HaYeshiva

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Shiur presented in 5778

Parshas Eikev: Harnessing the Power of Bitachon (5778)

“Money on the Table”

Today we will begin with our first shiur for this tekufah on the subject of bitachon. We spoke numerous times about emunah, but bitachon is where the power begins. Emunah is the seed or the tree, while bitachon is the fruit.[i] Emunah is the study of the halachah, whereas bitachon, in the words of the Chazon Ish zichrono levrachah, is the halachah lema’aseh.[ii]People don’t realize that the Torah teaches us how to behave in every situation. The Torah gave us avos and imahos who were challenged in every which way, and based on the great principle of מעשה אבות סימן לבנים, we’re also going to be challenged, directed and guided. If we only knew how to turn to the source and tap into this goldmine, we would empower ourselves in a way that’s beyond imagination, in a way that’s beyond teva. People who hear about it for the first time think, “Ah, this is great! This is not normal.” People don’t realize what they’re letting slip through their fingers!

Parshas Vayeitze begins with ויצא יעקב מבאר שבע – and Yakov left Be’er Sheva (Bereishis 28:10). There’s a beautiful medrash, a very fundamental medrash on these pesukim. The medrash says as follows: בשעה שהלך יעקב חרנה במצות אביו לישא לו אישה, when Yaakov went to Charan to find a wife, בא אליפז בן עשו, Elifaz the son of Eisav Harasha came ולקח את כל אשר לו, and took everything that he had. Now, the first parshah of shidduchim that we have in the Torah (i.e. Yitzhak and Rivka) is what you call where they come with the “cash in hand.” There are people who are zocheh to come into marriage with money in their hand. In this parshah, however, the Torah is telling us what a person should do when he doesn’t have money. And the subject being discussed here, is not only how to get married without money, but it equally applies to how to get a job when you don’t have money, or how to get healthy when you’re not sure where to turn. This is a very broad subject.

The Torah tells us that Yaakov Avinu was facing a matzav where he did not have a penny in his pocket to get married. You might say, “So what?” Oh no! In those days you didn’t get married without bringing C.O.T.  You had to bring cash ofen tisch (money on the table). It had to be there. If you didn’t have it, then you didn’t get married.

You know how many times I’ve heard parents tell me, “We’re not looking for a real learner because we’re not that type. We don’t have that type of money. So we want an earner-learner.” I say to them, “If you had enough money, would you want a real learner, a serious learner?” Some tell me, “Not really.” Some tell me, “I wish I could have a serious learner as a son-in-law.” And I say, “You could. It’s not dependent on money.” They tell me, “What are you talking about?” I say, “Don’t you know the famous story in the Torah about how someone got married after losing all his money? He was robbed blind. He had no money and Hashem gave him a shidduch. The shidduch turned out to be very great. And he ended up very wealthy eventually. So why don’t you look in the chumash? Why don’t you study that parshah?” They have no idea what I am talking about.

Some people tell me, “I have money, but the truth of the matter is – we’re saving the money. It’s for us to live off. I don’t want to have to support somebody to sit and learn. Why should he get away without having to work? My husband has to work for what he earns. We don’t want to give away our money to somebody else.” They are either cheapskates or silly parents. They don’t know the value of having a good eidem. If they had a good eidem for their daughter it would help them very much in the future. It would be a tremendous boon [a benefit] for them. But we’re not talking about that.

“Am I Going to Lose My Bitachon?”

So here comes Yaakov Avinu and he doesn’t know what to do. Let me ask you: what would we do in this case? You know what I might do? I might turn around and go back home to Mommy and Tatty and sneak in the back door one night and say, “Ma, I got robbed. Ta, I got cleaned out.” “Who cleaned you out?” “Elifaz.” Now it was a nes, because Elifaz came to kill Yaakov, but Elifaz grew up in the house of his zeida, so when his uncle told him a shtickel Torah that “An ani is chashuv kemeis and mitzad that it will be considered as if you were mekayem kibud av ve’eim and you killed me” – a regular sheigetz wouldn’t hear that shtickel Torah. But Elifaz said, “Okay, I can hear aza shtickel Torah,”and he was mekabel it and he didn’t kill his Uncle Yaakov. But who wouldn’t go back home? “Ta, I need another load of cash.” That’s what I would have done. But that’s not what Yaakov did.

You know what Yaakov said? “This is a challenge. It’s a nisayon. Hashem wants to show me how a person can get married without cash. Hashem knows where I’m going now. Hashem knows what I’m going for and all that I need. I’m not 15 years old. I’m already an alter bachur. It’s time to get married.”

Chazal (Bereishis Rabbah 68:2) tell us that he said as follows: שיר למעלות אשא עיני אל ההרים מאין יבוא עזרי – A song for ascents. I turn my eyes to the mountains; from where will my help come? (Tehillim 121:1).[iii] Now listen to what he said next. Listen closely because this is very insightful and we’re going to see how the gedolei olam mined gems and insights and mamash practical halachic lessons from here! When I see aza Chazal, I’m telling you, I mamash get shaken up. It’s amazing! We’re privy to hearing Yaakov Avinu, the bechir shebe’avos talking to Hashem in an eis tzarah and the Chazal are revealing to us what that conversation was, for posterity, for me to hear it, learn from it, absorb it and regurgitate it! Do it!

Yaakov says, “Eliezer, the servant of Avraham, בשעה שהלך להביא את רבקה מה כתיב ביה, what does it say? It says ויקח העבד עשרה גמלים, he came with ten loaded camels besides for jewelry and pearls.” Not a little bracelet, a little zach, a little smichik you need to have a magnifying glass to see. He brought mamash a feste chevrah, festa shticklach. The best. ואני, and I, לא נזם אחד ולא צמיד אחד – I don’t even have a bracelet or a nezem from a chessed center. Gornisht. Not from yad l’kallah, or yad l’chosson. Gornisht.

Now this sounds like despair. So it says after that חזר ואמר, he went back and said, מה אנא מובד סברי מן בריי, what am I going to do? What’s my position? Let me study my position. Am I going to lose (מובד) my bitachon? Am I going to lose סברי, my reliance, מן בָּרְיִי, from my Creator? Chas veshalom, he says. Chas veshalom. “I’m not going to do this.” לית אנא מובד סברי מן בָּרְיִי, “I’m not going to lose any bitachon, ‘עזרי מעם ה.”

Now this is a piece of Chazal that needs to be analyzed, and we’re going to analyze it. What does his first presentation sound like? His first statement was, “I have nothing to go to the shidduch with, while my father was loaded when his shidduch started.” Very fair, very rational point. A reasonable thing to say.

Now, it sounds like Yaakov Avinu, chas veshalom, was almost meyaesh. He was worried. He was concerned. Then it says חזר ואמר, he went back and he said, “What?! Am I going to lose my hope?!” Many people take out the word chazar. They say, chas veshalom, Yaakov Avinu should ever lose hope! Yaakov Avinu didn’t lose hope. But you should not take the word chazar out! Let me tell you what is going on over here.

Relying on Tevah

We’re going to start with the famous words of the Beis Halevi.[iv] The Beis Halevi says that this Chazal is teaching us how to have bitachon and how Yaakov employed the power of bitachon when he needed it. He says as follows. The nature of a person, is that even if he’s boteach in Hashem, he thinks and wonders how Hashem is going to bring him the shidduch. If you ask the average guy, “How do you expect Hashem is going to bring you a shidduch?” he might tell you, “You know what? My family is a balebatishe family. My mother has connections. My father has connections. Pashtus that’s how I’m going to get a shidduch.” Another person may say, “My family has money. That’s how I’ll get a shidduch.” Or the girl may say, “I have a very good job, and therefore I’ll get a shidduch from that.” Or, “I’m very beautiful.” A bachur might say, ”I’m very handsome,” or “I’m very chashuv and a very geshmake bachur.”So everybody relies on things beteva because most things come to a person through teva. You’ll ask a person, “How are you planning on getting a job?” He might say, “Well, I’m going to take a course or I took a course and that’s going to help me get a job.” Or he may say, “I’m a kind of guy who has kesharim. People like me. People have told me already, ‘If you ever need a job, give me a buzz.’” Or some say, “I worked in camps and I was matzliach in the camps. I worked in a hotel during bein hazmanim and I already see I have a knack for the business. I met people, you know.” One guy plays music. People play drums. “I’m going to be a drummer. When I was little, I played accordion.” Usually there’s a natural way of things happening in the world.

This Beis Halevi teaches us that a person who goes to school and gets a degree in something will rely on his degree. He believes he’s getting a job because of his degree. I’ve heard this from hundreds of people in my life. I’ve heard from people how they rely on their good looks. They rely on the kesharim. They rely on their family’s money. They rely on their connections. One girl told me, “My mother is friendly with a very famous shadchan in Lakewood.” People have also told me this. “Such and such shadchan, he’s the man!” I said, “The guy is funny, but is he the Ribono Shel Olam? He’s not the Ribono Shel Olam!” So people rely on different things.

Who Do You Really Rely On?

The thing you have to know is that that’s nonsense. That’s not the way to approach it. I don’t care if you do have a degree, but if you rely on your degree, you’re a kofer. You’re not having any bitachon in Hashem and you’re losing out tremendously from what you could gain. You have to say as follows: “Because I have a degree, I feel that I’m reliant on Hashem that He’s going to provide me with parnasah. I did my part. Now I trust Hashem is going to do His part.”

But when a person relies on himself, his talent, and his experience and he says, “That’s going to get me a job,” the guy is a fool, and it works against him as well. I heard many times from these people who believe in their own talents: “Oh, I’m already in my high 40s. I’m in the 50s. They take younger people. They’re not looking for older people.” I said, “I want you to know something. If you could do a job, I would hire you over a younger person. Older people are more committed. They’re more serious.” But these people don’t rely on Hashem, they rely on themselves. If the olam hateva says they’re not hiring people your age, and you believe that, you have no bitachon ki hu zeh klal!

You have to realize that having a talent or being a certain age means nothing. That’s the alef. You rely on Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Your family has money and you think you’re going to get a shidduch, that’s going to be your impediment to get a shidduch. That could be a blockage in a shidduch.

Once Upon a Shidduch

I’ll tell you a story about one of my first shidduchim that I redd way back when. They called me up from out of town. They were very, very wealthy people. They said, “Somebody told us to call you. We heard you have a talent for shidduchim. We want to sweeten the offer. We have a daughter.” I said, “First of all, do you want a learning boy?” The father said, “Yes, we want a learning boy.” I said, “How long should he learn for?” He said, “He can learn for as long as he wants. We’re going to fund him.” I said, “Do you have the funds?” “Baruch Hashem, that’s not the problem.” “Wow,” I said, “you’ve got a lucky daughter. I’m happy for you.” He said, “We’re going to sweeten the deal for you too. We start at ten grand. That’s where we start paying the shadchan. If it’s the shidduch kemo shekasuv, it goes up to 25 grand.”

I said, “I’m very interested, but I’m going to be very honest with you. I can’t make a shidduch.” He said, “What do you mean? We heard all about you?! People told us that you’re on a roll! We heard that lately you’ve made a bunch of shidduchim.”I said, “I never did. I was involved, but I never made a shidduch. All my shidduchim went because there is a Ribono Shel Olam who made it and I tried not to get in His way. When I saw two people coming towards each other, I just directed the traffic a little bit. I tried to keep the problems out of the way. They bumped into each other. I get no credit. I’m not a shadchan. I’ve got to tell you this – there’s no such a thing.”

I asked him, “Do you believe in that?” He said, “We’re not sure.” I said, “I don’t even want to hear about your daughter then. I’m sure you didn’t call me alone. How many shadchanim have you called?” He said, “As many as we possibly could.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “We called everybody in Lakewood who is anybody. We called everybody in New York who is anybody. We called everybody in Chicago who is anybody. We called people in Detroit. We went to Eretz Yisrael with our daughter and we introduced her to the major shadchanim that we could get our hands on.” I said, “You could forget about me. Take my name off the list because I have nothing to offer you. Your approach is so antithesis of my approach, it’s not going to work. You have emunah and bitachon in shadchanim, and it’s not working. Don’t you realize this? Logically, al pi teva, people should run after you!All the ma’alos of the imahos, money, gelt, a fine family – you have it all! Learning, support, balebatish. People should line up at your front door. And you can’t get a shidduch?!”

“Can We Please Skip the Shadchan?”

I said, “If you want me to get involved in your shidduch, I’m going to tell you my eitzah. Call up the list of shadchanim that you went to and tell them, ‘Please take my daughter off your list.’ You don’t have to listen to me. I’m just giving you free shidduch advice. This is your first child. If they ask if your daughter got married, say, “No, but we’d like to take her name off.’ They’ll remember her name. Don’t worry about it. I’m sure you made nice offers to all of them, like you made to me. Get rid of them and then call me back.”

About a week goes by. I never thought I’d hear from them. I never thought they would listen to me. Why should they listen to me? It’s crazy. They’re desperate for a shidduch. But they called me back and they said, “We made all the phone calls. We took our daughter’s name off the list.” I said, “You really did that?” I was starting to sweat. I said, “Oh, boy. Tell me about your daughter.” They told me all about their daughter, very clearly as a matter of fact. I remember I was very impressed. I said, “I know of a bachur who would be perfect. He learns in yeshivah. There are only a couple of problems. The guy is not even dreaming about a shidduch yet. He has two brothers who are older than him and he has an older sister, but if your daughter is how you described her, this guy fits the bill perfectly. Let me attempt to redd it.”

I call the boy’s father. I said, “Rabbi So and So. I have an interesting suggestion for you. I know your son is not in shidduchim. I’m very close to your son. I have this shidduch of the century for him. The shidduch that he could do what he wants. He can learn. He can do this, he can do that.” He said, “I hear you. It definitely sounds tempting and interesting, but he has two brothers on top of him.” I said, “So, are you saying no?” He said, “I’ll tell you what. Tell my son to go ask the Telshe Rosh Yeshivah, Rav Gifter. He should tell him what to do.” The boy went to the Rosh Yeshiva, and the Rosh Yeshiva told him, “You should go out.” I said, “Wow! This is mamash shelo al pi teva. Two brothers and a sister! This doesn’t happen often.” The guy wasn’t even in shidduchim.

I called the girls’ parents back and said, “The guy is ready to go out.” They went out. They hit it off from the first date. Her parents went crazy over this boy. They said, “This is our dream boy. He’s everything exactly as described.” I said, “You haven’t seen anything yet. This is just the first date.” They went out on the second date and the third date. Then they met bein hazmanim out of town. She came to where he lived in a different state. It wasn’t her home state either. He took care of her. He sent her meleveh malkah. He was a very good guy, thoughtful, and sensitive. It was over a Yom Tov and the parents went to some hotel somewhere. They flew the bachur in to spend the day in the hotel with them. After he spent over 24 hours in the hotel, first class of course, the father calls me up afterwards. He said, “I’ve got to tell you something. He’s my eidem. I’m willing to adopt him right now whether he gets married to my daughter or not. Let him know that. I love him ahavas nefesh.

‘Pulling Out’ of Your Tevah

But the girl couldn’t commit! After the eighth date, I told the girl, “Isn’t it time?” “I’m not sure,” she said. “What aren’t you sure about?” “I’m not sure if he’s physically in shape.” I said, “What?! The guy is in shape!” He was a lively guy, a put together guy. “I’m not sure.” I said, “So what do you suggest?” She said, “I want to go out again.” I said, “How are you going to know? Are you going to make him do push ups?!” She said, “I have a better idea.” “Oh yeah, let’s hear it. What is it?” I asked. She wouldn’t tell me. Anyway she took him to some park that had exercise machines where you do chin ups, push ups, pull ups, etc. She had a whole thing. She timed the guy. She mamash put the guy through a whole exercise thing! She came back. I said, “How did he do?” I was getting a little upset this time, you understand. The girl tells me, “He was great. He really is in shape.” I said, “Can you close the deal?” She said, “I can’t.” I said, “Why not?” She said, “I just don’t feel it.” I said, “Did you write down on a piece of paper all the pros and all the cons?” Yes. I said, “What are the cons?” She didn’t have one con. “I have two pages full of pros on why this is the right shidduch. I have not one con.” I said, “So why don’t you say yes? She said, “My heart is not telling me; אין ליבי אומר לי.”

Then she called some rabbanim and they told her she’s nuts and she should say yes. She continued and kept on calling and looking for the rav who is going to give her the heter. She found some modern lady in Eretz Yisrael who told her, “If your heart doesn’t speak to you and your heart doesn’t tell you…” I said, “I’m only letting you go out ten times. After ten times I’m dropping it.” I dropped it after the tenth time. I told the guy, “That’s it. You’re being used.” She said, “I’m sorry, this and that.” They made peace and moved on.

But I saw a peladike zach from this story. This girl’s parents, pashut, did a tremendous zach. When they ‘pulled out’ from all of their “teva,” Hakadosh Baruch Hu opened up the world for them in the most amazing way! He showed them how He could perform in the most miraculous ways. So, the first thing you have to know is there’s nothing wrong with teva, but don’t convince yourself that your teva is going to get you anywhere. Your teva is only something which Hashem granted you as a meansto enable you to have bitachon in Hashem. If a guy relies on his mother, that’s a nightmare. If you think your mother could make a shidduch, I’ve got some news for you – only Hashem knows the real one.

Don’t rely on anybody. If you have “teva,” say the following, “Hashem I appreciate that I have a mother, I appreciate that I have a father. I appreciate that I have money. I appreciate that I have yichus, or no yichus.”Whatever you have or whatever you don’t have.

Employing “Unnatural” Bitachon

Now, the next thing. Yaakov Avinu says, “I have no teva.” That’s what he says. The Beis Halevi explains what Yaakov Avinu said, “I can’t be boteach in Hashem based on teva at all. Eliezer went through with the shidduch, but he never believed in his teva. He didn’t believe in his camels. He didn’t believe in his jewelry. He didn’t believe in his wealth, or on the shtar that showed how rich Yitzchak was. He knew that it was just acts of teva. He was boteach in Hashem 100%.

Yaakov Avinu said, “I don’t have that situation.” It wasn’t that he was meyaesh. He was saying, “I’m I’m facing a challenge of bitachon shelo al pi teva. I don’t have a thing on me. How am I going to approach this zach?” He says, “You think I’m going to lose my bitachon because I don’t have any natural waysto help me rely on Hashem?! Chas veshalom. I will rely on Hashem directly because ‘Hashem, I have no teva to rely on and I’m going to get my eizer מעם ה’ עושה שמים וארץ.’” As my rebbi (Rav Meir Halevi Soloveitchik, zt”l) explained, what’s the pshat ‘עזרי מעם ה the עושה שמים וארץ? “When Hashem created the world,” my rebbi explained, “there was no zechus. The creation of the world was a total act of chessed. There was no zechus. No one did any ma’asim to earn and be zocheh to brias haolam. It was completely Hakadosh Baruch Hu mitzad atzmo. There was no hisorerus milematah. It was kulo milema’alah. Yaakov said, ‘I’m relying on Hashem who created shamayim va’aretz. Not on my zechusim. Not on the fact that I learned. Not on the fact that I’m Yaakov Avinu. Not on the fact that I’m the son of Yitzchak, the einekel of Avraham. Gornisht. I’m relying on You, Hashem, and that is it.He could have said, ‘Listen, I am the einekel of Avraham.’ Avraham was a very famous man. Yitzchak was very popular. They were world famous. And he was a good son. He wasn’t Eisav. He could have relied on that. “No, Hashem, I’m relying on You. That’s all.’”

And you know what happened? He made it.

I told somebody, “If you don’t have money – you honestly don’t have money – and you see that you’re not able to support your child in any natural way, don’t lose your hope. Employ bitachon mei’al hateva. Apply bitachon ‘above nature.’ Say, ‘Hashem, I want my child to sit and learn. I want my daughter to marry somebody who is going to be an erliche Yid and a committed Yid. He doesn’t have to learn for fifty years, but he should start his life off with an erlichkeit, with an ernstkeit, committed to learning.’” You know how many guys get married with the intention to learn and they don’t have money? You know what they start doing? They start selling cupcakes in yeshivah. They become bakers.

I remember, I was once in Lakewood and there was a guy who sold cupcakes and Danishes. He used to travel to New York. I used to feel terrible for the guy. The guy was toilingto sell a few Danishes. The guy has a big bakery today, a major bakery! Mamash. He used to sell out of the back of his car. He would sit by his trunk and sell by the yeshivah.

You don’t have to do that. There is a time when you can go to work and sell Danishes. That’s fine. But right now you’re in yeshivah. Right now you’re committed to learning. Why don’t you rely on Hashem? You know how many guys in yeshivah are looking for jobs bein hasedarim? You know how many? Because they’re just locked into the teva. They can’t imagine themselves getting parnasa without working. They can’t see it. It doesn’t happen. If that doesn’t happen, you’re stuck.

Two Approaches of Bitachon

This is what a person has to realize. You don’t need any zechusim. Hashem is the עושה שמים וארץ. You know how many people I know, and whom I’ve guided into marriage, without a penny? I can’t tell you how many people are told, “Don’t do this shidduch, there’s no money here.” Or people say, “We definitely want money.” That’s a natural mehalech. First you go with the teva. Why not?! That’s what Avraham did with Yitzchak! There’s a mehalech of gelt. But what if it turns out that there’s no gelt but you know it’s the right shidduch? Then you’ve got to rely on Yaakov’s mehalech. You’ve got to go with Yaakov’s approach of ‘עזרי מעם ה. Now, you definitely don’t marry a girl solely for money. Any guy who marries a girl for money, the gemara says it’s not going to be a good marriage. I’m not talking about that now. I’m talking about marrying a girl for the right reasons, but also asking for support. But you have to remember that when there’s no money, and no support but you know it’s the right shidduch, there’s Yaakov’s mehalech.

I had a talmid who got married. This guy really wanted to learn. But there was no source of parnasah. I thought his wife would go to work. A nechtige tug. She said she was going to work. She changed her mind after they got married. “No, I want to stay home with the kids,” she said. I figured the guy is finished. The guy said, “Rebbi, I’m not going to work. I heard all the shmoozen. I’m going to have bitachon.” I said, “You’re really going to have bitachon?” He said, “Absolutely! I’m going to have bitachon.” And he did. I thought he was joking about it. He learned for a year. He made it for two years. He made it for three years. He made it for four years. Then his wife decided she wanted to move to New York. I told him, “If you move to New York, your rent is going to be a fortune! There’s no cheap rent in New York. In Cleveland there’s cheap rent. Everything is more expensive in New York.” I tried to convince him out of it, but it didn’t help. I saw the yad Hashem. So, I said, “Go to New York. You’re going to have to have bitachon. It will work out.”

Hashem Can Pay New York Rent, Too

He went to New York and he’s been sitting and learning there ever since! I can’t understand it. He’s really learning. He’s finishing mesechtos. He’s making siyumim. He’s an erliche yungerman. Wherever he goes people are nispael from him. He carries himself like a mentsch. He’s had more kids since then. Hashem has helped him down to the wire, not stam. I asked him, “How are you affording your rent?” Now, he heard a tape from me and he said, “Rebbi, I think I’m going to buy a house.” I said, “Great idea.” He said, “A house just came up for sale and the person who owns the house asked me if  I would be interested.” I said, “Grab it. Ask him how much he wants for it.” He went to the guy and asked how much he wants. “Not a lot,” the guy tells him, “a million seven.” I said, “What?! $1,700,000?! I’m not sure if that’s the house that Hashem has in mind for you. Maybe there’s something a little cheaper.” Now he’s working on another one. You never know. I’ve seen Hashem do miracles!

I can’t tell you how many people this guy raises money for and helps. He does chessed unbelievably. He says, “Rebbi, you always say a person has to do chessed.” I asked him, “How can you do chessed? You’re overloaded!?” He said, “No, I’m going to do chessed.” So he started a program in his yeshivah encouraging people in the yeshivah to learn on Shabbos. He learned that on Shabbos you’re supposed to learn. So he started a program offering money. He raised money for it. There were yungerleit here who used to send him money every month. It wasn’t normal. The guy should pocket every penny he has, but he’s smart; he knows that when you do chessed, you beget chessed.

We have to internalize this message, Rabbosai. Don’t rely on your job. Don’t rely on your personality. If you have nothing – i.e. you have no yichus, and no money – there is still עזרי מעם השם, Hashem can still help you.

Are You Connected to Hashem?

Actually, two guys called me up not long ago. They both told me they got divorced recently. They were both equally depressed and were very concerned because the other side was bashmutzing them big time. Regarding one of the guys, whom I’ve met before, I understood why they were bashmutzing him. I didn’t understand why it was happening to the other fellow though. But I told both of them the same thing. I said, “I want you to know, this is a challenge. And if you’re depressed, it means you have no connection with Hashem.”

Now, generally when people get divorced they get down; they get depressed. It’s very normal. I told them, “If you weren’t going nuts before, you’re going to go nuts now because you’re depressed. Depression never gets a person anywhere. You have to connect with Hashem. That’s your only hope.” I told each one of them separately, “Come to me for some time. Let me put you on a program of getting connected with Hashem. I have no safek when you’re going to get connected and be aware that all the nonsense that’s happening in your life is just a little test and a challenge, you know what’s going to happen? Bingo!”

So the  second fellow showed up. He committed to go into a program. I said, “I’m going to work with you on a daily basis. We’re going to get you out of your doldrums, and get you where you need to be. For forty days we’re going to work.” We found the nekudah that he needed to work on. I said, “I don’t care what the whole world tells you. Try this for a little bit.” And he did. What happened was that the first week after he left, he got a shidduch but it wasn’t the right shidduch. He called me up. “Rebbi, The ‘old nonsense’ came back.” I said, “Don’t let the ‘nonsense’ come back. Stay strong! I’m telling you the shidduch is right around the corner. I know it’s around the corner. Stay strong! If you fall now, you’re going to have to go through the whole program again.” The guy stayed strong. A short while later, he was engaged to a wonderful girl.

Then, the first guy called me up and said, “I heard the second guy got engaged. I came first!” I said, “He was more serious with the program and he was more honest with himself than you are.” He said, “Okay, I’m coming back.” He came back. I spent a few days with him. We spoke on the phone almost every day. And now he’s engaged. It’s unbelievable! I’m telling you, he was not an easy customer. I told him, “Hashem must have a shidduch for you. Just shape yourself up. Get in shape.”

A person has to understand that this is what it’s about. The hope is in your hands.

Bitachon is Programmed Into You!

Now there’s a very interesting language in this medrash. You know what it says? Yaakov said, “Am I going to lose (מוביד) my bitachon?!” What does that mean: losing my bitachon? What does the term “losing” mean?

I once heard from my grandfather (HaRav Avigdor Miller, zt”l) a very big yesod on this subject. I’m just applying it here. He said, “Emunah and bitachon is not something you need to acquire.” People say to me, “Oh, you have emunah and bitachon. I don’t have emunah.” My friend, you’ve got whatever I’ve got! You may have more than I’ve got. Emunah and bitachon are implanted in your system. Every one of us is created with a neshamah Elokah mima’al – you were created with a Heavenly neshamah. That neshamah is in your system, in your kishkes. And I want you to know that if you have that neshamah, you have Hashem in you! Hashem is within you! He’s connected and bound to you! Hashem is right inside of you! All you’ve got to know is it’s מים עמוקים עצה בלב איש, it’s deep waters (Mishley 20:5). You’ve covered it over, that’s all. Just take it out. Draw out that emunah and bitachon that lies within you! Get connected to Hashem with your neshamah!

Do you know how many people ask the following: “Are you connected to Hashem”? Their answer is, “No, not really.” I say, “Why not? You think you don’t need Hashem in your life? I mean, if you are calling me, you obviously do. You’re in a pickle. Why don’t you get connected with Hashem?” They say, “Oh, I don’t feel it. I don’t have it. I don’t know where to find Hashem,” whatever they say. The emunah is in you, my friend! The bitachon is in you. Bring it out! Make it happen! That’s the meaning of the word מוביד, to lose it. Because it’s really yours to begin with! It’s in you! It’s inside of you! So rely on it, rely on Hashem! The same thing applies to a job. Rely on Hashem. Hashem is going to help you, every one of you. Jobs are like shidduchim. Hashem gives people jobs. Hashem provides parnasah. Rely on Hashem. Hashem provides houses. It all comes from Hashem. People like to think they do things themselves.

If a person does that in every area of his life – in parnasah, in shidduchim, in health – he will become aware of his inherent connection to Hashem in that area. People go crazy when they can’t get healthy. You tried al pi teva by going to a doctor. But don’t rely on the doctor. Rely on Hashem. The doctor is a shaliach. But sometimes you can’t find a doctor or sometimes you don’t have access to a doctor or sometimes you don’t have coverage, whatever it is. Then you have to rely on Hashem. Don’t say, “It’s all over.” Rely on Hakadosh Baruch Hu and im yirtzeh Hashem, you’ll be zocheh to see the yeshuah bemeheirah beyameinu amen!

[i] כתב הרמב”ן בספרו “אמונה ובטחון” ריש פרק א’ וז”ל: אמונה והבטחון הם שני ענינים שהאחד צריך לחברו ואין וחברו צריך לו, שהאמונה קודמת לבטחון ומתקיימת בלב המאמין אע”פ שאין הבטחון עמה ואינה צריכה לו בקיומה ולפיכך אינה מורה עליו, אבל הבטחון הוא מורה עליה שאי אפשר לו להיות קודם לה ולא להתקיים בלעדיה, וכל הבוטח יקרא מאמין אך לא כל המאמין יקרא בוטח, כי האמונה כמו האילן והבטחון כמו הפרי. והפרי לאות על האילן או על עשב שגדל את הפרי ההוא, ואין האילן או העשב לאות על הפרי, כי יש אילנות שאינם עושים פרי וכן עשבים הרבה, אבל אין פרי בלא אילן או עשב, וכו’

[ii] כתב החזון איש בספרו “אמונה ובטחון”, פרק ב אות ב, וז”ל: האמונה ובטחון אחת היא, רק האמונה היא המבט הכללי של בעליה, והבטחון המבט של המאמין על עצמו. האמונה בבחינת הלכה, והבטחון בבחינת מעשה. נקל להיות בוטח בשעה שאין עיקר התפקיד של הבטחון, אך מה קשה להיות בוטח בשעת תפקידו באמת…ואמנם בזאת יבחן אם פיו ולבו שוין, האם בוטח הוא באמת או אך למד לשונו לצפצף ‘בטחון’ ‘בטחון’, ובלבו לא קוננה, כאשר נפגש במקרה הדורש בטחון, ואשר בשעה זו תפקידו של הבטחון לנהלהו להחלימו ולרפאותו, האם בשעה הקשה הלזו פנה אל הבטחון, ויבטח בו, או דוקא בשעה זו לא פנה אליו, ופנה אל הרהבים ושטי כזב, אל אמצעים מגונים ותחבולות שוא, וכו’ 

[iii] רבי שמואל בר נחמן פתח (תהלים קכא, א): שיר למעלות אשא עיני אל ההרים, אשא עיני אל ההורים למלפני ולמעבדני. (תהלים קכא, א): מאין יבוא עזרי, אליעזר בשעה שהלך להביא את רבקה מה כתיב ביה (בראשית כד, י): ויקח העבד עשרה גמלים וגו’, ואני לא נזם אחד ולא צמיד אחד. רבי חנינא אמר גדוד שלחו. רבי יהושע בן לוי אמר שלח עמו, אלא שעמד עשו ונטלה ממנו. חזר ואמר מה אנא מובד סברי מן בריי, חס ושלום, לית אנא מובד סברי מן בריי, אלא (תהלים קכא, ב): עזרי מעם ה’. (תהלים קכא, ג): אל יתן למוט רגלך אל ינום שמרך, (תהלים קכא, ה): הנה לא ינום ולא יישן וגו’, (תהלים קכא, ז): ה’ ישמרך מכל רע, מעשו ומלבן. (תהלים קכא, ז): ישמר את נפשך, ממלאך המות. (תהלים קכא, ח): ה’ ישמר צאתך ובואך, ויצא יעקב.

[iv] כתב בית הלוי וז”ל: במדרש רבה (ב”ר סח ב) אשא עיני אל ההרים מאין יבא עזרי (תסלים קכא) אמר, אליעזר כשהלך ליקח לרבקה מה כתיב ביה ויקח העבד עשרה גמלים כו’ ואני לא נזם אחד ולא צמיד אחד ואמר מה אנא מוביד סברי מבריי עזרי מעם ה’ עושה שמים וארץ. דרש המדרש לתיבת עזרי לענין אשה כמו אעשה לו עזר כנגדו. וביאור דברי המדרש דמלמדנו גודל הבטחון של יעקב, דהנה זה בטבע האדם גם אם יהיה בוטח שיחקור בשכלו באיזו אופן ישיג הדבר הנצרך לו, וכיון שנצרך לאיזו דבר ואין בידו מעות הגם כי לבו חזק בבטחון שבודאי יעזור לו ה’ עכ”ז לבו חושב באיזה אופן ישיג הדבר אם הקב”ה יזמין לו ריוח או ימצא מציאה וכדומה לזה. ולכאורה אין בזה חסרון בטחון אחר שגם להסיבה אין לו שום דרך ומבוא שתהיה רק ה’ יזמין לו. ורק דאח”כ חזר בו וחשב גם זאת לחסרון דלמה לי לבטוח שיזמין הסיבה שבזה אשיג העזר, ואמר עזרי מעם ה’ וגם בלא שום סיבה אשיג העזר (בית הלוי על התורה, ויצא ד)

[i] ואי בעית אימא הא מני רבי שמעון היא דתניא רבי שמעון אומר מפני מה אמרה תורה כי יקח איש אשה ולא כתב כי תלקח אשה לאיש מפני שדרכו של איש לחזר על אשה ואין דרכה של אשה לחזר על איש משל לאדם שאבדה לו אבידה מי חוזר על מי בעל אבידה מחזר על אבידתו

[ii] מַעֲשֶׂה בִּשְׁלמה הַמֶּלֶךְ שֶׁהָיְתָה לוֹ בַּת יְפֵיפִיָּה אֲשֶׁר לֹא הָיְתָה כָּמוֹהָ בְּכָל הָאָרֶץ, וּשְׁלמה הַבִּיט בַּמַּעֲלוֹת כְּדֵי לִרְאוֹת מִי הוּא בֶּן זוּגָהּ ,וְרָאָה שֶׁבֶּן זוּגָהּ הוּא עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן שֶׁאֵין בָּאָרֶץ כְּמוֹתוֹ. מֶה עָשָׂה? בָּנָה מִגְדַּל גָּבוֹהַ בַּיָּם, וְשָׂם אֶת בִּתּוֹ בְּאוֹתוֹ מִגְדַּל, וְסָגַר אֶת הַפֶּתַח שֶׁל הַמִּגְדָּל, כְּדֵי שֶׁאַף אֶחָד לֹא יוּכַל לְהִכָּנֵס לְשָׁם, וְהֵבִיא שִׁבְעִים זְקֵנִים מִזִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁיִשְׁמְרוּ שָׁם, וְכָךְ חָשֵׁב לִשְׁמוֹר עַל בִּתּוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּמְצָא לָהּ בָּחוּר הָגוּן הָרָאוּי לָהּ כְּפִי מַעֲלָתָהּ. וְהִנֵּה בְּאַחַת הָעֲיָרוֹת הָיְתָה מִשְׁפָּחָה עֲנִיָה וְדַלָּה שֶׁלֹא הָיָה לָהּ בְּמַה לְהִתְפַּרְנֵס, וְהֶחְלִיט הַבֵּן הַבָּחוּר לָצֵאת וּלְחַפַּשׂ עֲבוֹדָה כְּדֵי לְכַלְכֵּל אֶת בְּנֵי מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ. יָצָא הַבָּחוּר לְדַרְכּוֹ כְּשֶׁהוּא יָחֵף וְלָבוּשׁ סְחָבוֹת, וּבִהְיוֹתוֹ מְהַלֵּךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ הִתְעַיֵּף מְאֹד, וְהַקֹּר שֶׁשָׁרַר בַּחוּץ הִקְפִּיא אֶת עַצְמוֹתָיו, וְלָכֵן חִפַּשׂ מָקוֹם מִסְתּוֹר. וְהִנֵּה רָאָה שֶׁלֶד שֶׁל נִבְלַת שׁוֹר מֻּשְׁלֶכֶת בַּשָּׂדֶה, וְנִכְנַס בֵּין צַלְעוֹתָיו שֶׁל הַשׁוֹר כְּדֵי לְהָפִין אֶת צִינָתוֹ, וּמֵרֹב עֲיֵפוּתוֹ נִרְדָּם. בְּעוֹדוֹ יָשֵׁן, בָּא נֶשֶׁר גָּדוֹל וְהַרִים אֶת הַנָּבֵלָה וְנָשְׂאָה אֶל אוֹתוֹ מִגְדַּל שֶׁהָיְתָה בַּת שְׁלֹמֹה נִמְצֵאת בּוֹ, וְאָכַל שָׁם אֶת בְּשָׂר הַשׁוֹר. כְּשֶׁהֵאִיר הַשָּׁחַר, יָצְאָה בַּת שְׁלֹמֹה מַחַדְרָהּ אֶל הַגָּג, וְהִנֵּה רָאֲתָה אֶת אוֹתוֹ בָּחוּר יָשֵׁן בֵּין הָעֲצָמוֹת. אָמְרָה לוֹ: מִי אַתָּה וּמִי הָבִיאֲךָ לְכָאן? אָמַר לָהּ: יְהוּדִי אֲנִי, וְכִמְדְמַּנִי שֶׁהִגַּעְתִּי לְכָאן עַל יְדֵי עוֹף גָּדוֹל שֶׁהַרִים אֶת הַשָּׁלָד לְכָאן. מִיַּד לָקְחָה אוֹתוֹ, וְנָתְנָה לוֹ לֶאֱכוֹל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת, וְנַעֲשָׂה כִּבְרִיָה חֲדָשָׁה, וּשְׁנֵיהֶם נִקְשְׁרוּ בַּעֲבוֹתוֹת הָאַהֲבָה עַד מְאֹד. עַד שֶׁיּוֹם אֶחָד שָׁאָלָה אוֹתוֹ אִם רְצוֹנוֹ לְהִתְחַתֵּן אִתָּהּ? וְהֵשִׁיב בְּחִיוּב. וּמִיַּד לָקַח מְעַט מִדָּמוֹ, וְכָתַב כְּתוּבָה וְקִדְּשָׁהּ וְאָמַר: עֵד ה’ הַיּוֹם, וְעֵדִים מִיכָאֵל וְגַבְרִיאֵל. וּלְאַחַר זְמַן קָצַר נִתְעַבְּרָה. כְּשֶׁרָאוּ אוֹתָהּ הַזְקֵנִים מְעַבֶּרֶת, אָמְרוּ לָהּ: כִּמְדְמָּה שֶׁאַתְּ מְעָבֶּרֶת. אָמְרָה לָהֶם כֵּן, אָמְרוּ לָהּ וּמִמִּי נִתְעַבַּרְת? אָמְרָה לָהֶם: מַה לָכֶם לָדַעַת. נָפְלוּ פְּנֵי הַזְקֵנִים שָׁהָיוּ מִתְיָרְאִים מִשְׁלֹמֹה הַמֶּלֶךְ פֶּן יָשִׂים עֲלֵיהֶם עֲלִילוֹת דְּבָרִים, וְשָׁלְחוּ אֵלָיו לָבוֹא לְשָׁם. נִכְנַס שְׁלמה בַּסְפִינָה וּבָא אֲלֵיהֶם. אָמְרוּ לוֹ: אֲדוֹנֵנוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ, כָּךְ הַדָּבָר, וְאֵל יָשִׂים אֲדוֹנֵנוּ בַּעֲבָדָיו עָווֹן. כְּשָׁשָׁמַע, קָרָא לְבִתּוֹ וְשָׁאַל לָהּ עַל הַדָּבָר. אָמְרָה לוֹ בָּחוּר אֶחָד הַבִיא לִי הַקְבָּ”ה יָפֶה וְטוֹב, תַּלְמִיד וְסוֹפֵר, וְקִדְּשָׁנִי. קָרְאָה לַבָּחוּר וּבָא לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ, וְהָרְאָה לוֹ הַכְּתוּבָה שֶׁעָשָׂה לְבַתּוֹ. שֶׁאֵל לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל אָבִיו וְעַל אִמּוֹ וְעַל מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ, וּמֵאֵיזֶה עִיר הוּא, וְהֵבִין מִתּוֹךְ דְּבָרָיו שֶׁהוּא אוֹתוֹ שֶׁרָאָה בַּמַּזָל, וְשָׂמַח שִׂמְחָה גְדוֹלָה, וְאָמַר: בָּרוּךְ הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁנּוֹתֵן אִשָּׁה לְאִישׁ (מדרש תנחומא הוצאת באבער מבוא מ”ב)

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