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FAITH AND TRUST


In Chapter 2 of Faith and Trust, The Chazon Ish opens with a groundbreaking statement. “There is an old misconception rooted in the hearts of many when it comes to the concept of trust in H-shem [known as bitachon (trust)]. 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 a situation a person finds himself in where he faces an uncertain future with two obvious ways – one good and the other not – that indeed 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 H-shem.

False Understanding

This understanding of trust is incorrect. If the future has not been revealed through prophecy, the future is not decided. For who knows H-shem’s judgments and rewards? No – trusting in H-shem is not that. But rather the belief that nothing happens by chance and that everything that occurs under the sun results from a decree of the Almighty.

The Chazon Ish is teaching us a straightforward concept in his book: Trusting in H-shem is to believe that nothing occurs by chance. And everything that happens under the sun results from a decree of the Almighty. We understand that H-shem is in control of everything, and we always say it with our mouths. So why teach such a simple concept? Why go through the trouble of putting this down in a book? The Chazon Ish had many other matters to attend to. Again, why teach something so simple?

It is precisely because we are so accustomed to saying with our mouths alone that we trust and have faith in H-shem, that when we are faced with a situation to actually apply our faith and trust in H-shem, we don’t pass the test.

Businessmen Must Have Faith Too

Take a businessman, for example. He’s orthodox, he prays, studies, he’s shomer Shabbat. He does everything by the halacha to the best of his ability. But when he goes out to do his business and puts his faith in H-shem for his sustenance, does he hold this trust in H-shem every second of the day? And as the weeks, months, and years go by, does he constantly trust that his sustenance still comes from H-shem?

We learn from the Chazon Ish that in the blink of an eye, this level of trust can, G-d forbid, go down the drain. We are in immense danger of losing grip of trusting in H-shem. All it takes is one second for the businessman to think in his heart that it’s solely through his efforts that he’s making money. Indeed, H-shem will test the businessman. And He will allow him to make money thinking that it was through his own actions that he became rich. Little by little, he loses complete trust in H-shem. In his heart, trusting only in himself while walking around saying, “Baruch H-shem” for his newfound sustenance.

Please Have Faith

I beg you to put to your hearts today the importance of serving H-shem in your hearts. It Is such a beautiful thing how we are so careful with the most minor details of every mitzvah. We make sure we have kosher tefillin, we make sure we eat kosher, and we make sure we keep Shabbat. We do so with the most remarkable detail. This separates a Jewish soul from the rest of the souls of the world. And we must aspire to be more observant and to be more careful.

But we must also serve H-shem wholeheartedly through true emmunah and bitachon. The fight to serve H-shem is not only through the details of the mitzvot. It is also through the level of emmunah and bitachon that we have in H-shem. We must be willing to show how far we will go as servants of H-shem. We don’t ask for challenges and obstacles, but we must be ready to show our loyalty to our G-d. As a soldier shows his loyalty to his general, even more so should we be ready and hungry to show our loyalty to H-shem.

Avraham’s Faith

As we learn in the Torah when H-shem promised Avraham that his offspring shall be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Avraham trusted fully in H-shem. As the Torah says, “ve-he-emin ba H-shem va-yachsheva lo tzedaka.” “And he trusted in H-shem, and He reckoned it as a righteousness.”

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