web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Bitachon And Effort: Finding The Balance

The-Shmuz

“This is how you should make the ark: three hundred amahs long, fifty amahs wide and thirty amahs tall. – Bereishis 6: 15

 

Hashem appeared to Noach and told him the world had turned to wicked ways and was to be destroyed by a deluge. Hashem commanded Noach to build a teivah, an ark, so that he and his family would be saved.

The Torah lays out the dimensions of the ark in exact detail: the length, the height, the width, and the material it was to be made from. The commentaries ask: why do we need to know the exact dimension of the ark Noach built?

Rabbenu Bachya answers that the Torah delineated the size of the teivah to teach us a lesson. Assuming that an amah is a measurement of approximately two feet, the entire construction was not large: 600 feet long, 100 feet wide and 60 feet tall. When we put those dimensions into perspective, it becomes obvious that it would not be possible for all of the animals in the world to fit into such a small area.

Noach was commanded to gather up every species of living creature – from the gorillas swinging in the trees to the cows eating the grass, from the birds flying in the sky to the reptiles creeping on the ground, each was to be represented on the teivah. So many animals could not possibly fit into so small a craft. Even fifty such arks couldn’t house all the animals in existence, let alone the food and supplies needed to support them for almost a year’s time.

And so Rabbenu Bachya explains that we are being taught a significant concept: Man must act in the “Derech HaTeivah,” the ways of the world. Man is commanded to do that which is in his power, and only when he has exhausted all his means, is he allowed to rely on a miracle. Noach couldn’t possibly have built a vessel large enough to house all living creatures. Yet he was commanded to do as much as he could, and then rely on the miracle to fill in the rest.

This concept is the operating principle for our lives. We are obligated to take this world very seriously, all the while knowing Hashem is the One who controls everything. We are obligated to work very diligently at earning a living, knowing that the exact amount of money we are to make that year was set on Rosh Hashanah. We are obligated to seek out medical help – not just any doctor, but the best that is available to us – all the while knowing our health and well-being are completely in Hashem’s hands.

Our hishtadlus (efforts) and our bitachon (trust in Hashem) have to be balanced. A person must use the Derech HaTeivah, acting as if his efforts will determine the outcome, all the while knowing that everything is entirely controlled by Hashem.

But finding the balance between proper hishtadlus and bitachon is very difficult. Invariably, we either put too much stock in our efforts, our business acumen, and our abilities to get things done – or we act irresponsibly in our hishtadlus, saying, “Hashem will provide,” even though we haven’t put in adequate effort. The proper balance can be better understood with a mashol.

When the tightrope walk was first introduced to the circus, it was an exciting act to watch. A highly skilled acrobat would perform frightening dance steps while walking on a thin wire suspended high up in the air. However, everyone knew the danger was limited. Even if the performer slipped, there was always a safety net below to catch him.

Somewhere in course of circus history, the net was eliminated. Now, the acrobat was asked to walk the same distance and perform the same feats, but with one distinction: if he were to fall, there would be nothing there to catch him.

Imagine the electricity in the air the first time that act was performed. There was the tightrope walker, doing the same act that he’d performed thousands of times before, but now one slip, one misstep, and he’d fall to his death on the concrete below. No matter how many times he’d walked the high wire before, this time was different. He was galvanized by the excitement, exhilarated by the danger.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

One Response to “Bitachon And Effort: Finding The Balance”

  1. Anonymous says:

    the shaar bitachon is essential reading for this. see http://dafyomireview.com/article.php?docid=380

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Bibi: ‘Death From Above, Death From Below’ Will Not Continue
Latest Judaism Stories
Weiss-072514

Just as the moon waxes, wanes and renews itself, so has the nation of Israel renewed itself through the millennia.

126_masei_web

Parshat Masei: Rabbi Fohrman addresses the age-old question, are we our brother’s keeper?

Hertzberg-072514

When Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Thus, by the end of the first week of August all the major powers of Europe were at war.

Winiarz-072514

The Talmud teaches that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred.

When taking any major step in life it is a good idea to carefully re-evaluate one’s past.

Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

Hallel On Purim?
“Its Reading Is Its Praise”
(Megillah 14a)

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

It is apparent from the Maharsha that he does not see galus as atoning for killing accidentally; otherwise, this Gemara would not bother him.

It was found to be a giant deer tick living in her head – with its claws in her scalp.

While daydreaming about finding the perfect job, I never expected to be rewarded in spades for my aforementioned experience.

We are all entrusted with the mission of protecting our fellow Jews

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

The-Shmuz

We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.

There are often two distinct perspectives of an event: the perspective from living in the moment, and the perspective of history.

The rock doesn’t have needs, yet it listens to Hashem. How much more so should we, who have so many needs?

Clearly, they were lacking in bitachon. Their faith in Hashem was deficient. But they weren’t guilty of speaking lashon hara.

Of even greater significance, once the miraglim made their mistake and concluded that Hashem wasn’t powerful enough to bring the people into the land, what they then spoke wasn’t lashon hara at all

To gain power or distract the population from their suffering, a monarch would look for a place to put the blame.

Why can’t a man just admit it is wrong to steal but he wants to do it anyway?

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/bitachon-and-effort-finding-the-balance-2/2013/10/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: