web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Bitachon And Effort: Finding The Balance


The-Shmuz

Share Button

“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.

Share Button

About the Author: The new Shmuz book, “Stop Surviving and Start Living,” is available in stores, at www.TheShmuz.com, or by calling 866-613-TORAH (8672).


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.

No Responses to “Bitachon And Effort: Finding The Balance”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The interior of the El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, Tunisia, in 2009.
Tunisian Jew Stabbed in Djerba
Latest Judaism Stories

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

Haggadah used at the Passover Seder

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

Rabbi Sacks

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Marror is the reliving of the bitter enslavement and matzah is the under-eighteen-minutes redemption.

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim argues it is time for Ashkenazim to abandon the prohibition against Kitnyot. What do you think?

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

The-Shmuz

Hashem imprinted into the essence of each animal all the instincts necessary for its survival as well as for the continuation of its species.

They have heard many shmuzin discussing the severity of this issue, and they don’t question it.

It seems Rashi is saying that had a Jew remained in his house that evening, he would not have been killed, and had he left his house, he might have died – not because he was guilty of any sin, not because he deserved to die, but because once the destroyer is given permission to kill, anyone in his path is in danger.

To remind us of this, Hashem gave us a permanent reminder of our uniqueness – the mitzvah of milah.

Born in 1933, Sheldon Adelson was the son of Ukrainian immigrants. His father drove a taxi and his mother ran a knitting shop. He grew up in one of the poorest sections of Boston. But even as a young boy he showed great ambition, first selling newspapers on the street corner, and then running his first business at the age of twelve. He went on to build over fifty businesses, eventually owning the Venetian Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He became a very wealthy man.

Operating the crane is Joe. Joe is overweight and a chain smoker. Another worker approaches Joe and says, “Joe, look at you! 80 pounds overweight, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. You must do something about your health. Go the gym, work out, and get in shape.”

When a couple makes the conscious decision to have a baby, they use a system Hashem put into place to bring forth a child. They don’t claim to be knowledgeable enough in anatomy to synthesize the proteins needed for growth.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/bitachon-and-effort-finding-the-balance/2011/10/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: