Photo Credit: Jewish Press

We live in a challenging world and each of us faces many daily dilemmas. Are we masters of our own lives and daily existence? Or do we have very little or even no control over what happens to us?

Hashem obviously is in charge of our lives and he is the one that paves the path we walk on. If that is so, how much free will do we have to create the life that we want? How much is up to our decisions and to what extent are we driven by a higher force that is greater than us?


Both answers are correct. Yes, G-d is in charge and creates the paths we all walk on in the course of our lives. And yes, we have free will to decide in which way we want to form our lives.

Hashem may decide that a person will be poor. That person still has choices to make. First and foremost, he can choose his response and attitude toward what was sent his way.

But that isn’t enough. A person must try to raise himself from that low situation. The person can decide to “challenge” G-d and ask him to give him the strength and determination to do better and to get out of his poverty. It’s not enough to just say, “This is what Hashem wants” and accept it. Yes, we first accept our situation, and recognize that it’s all from above. But after we understand that this is from G-d, we must do our best to get out of the situation. Sometimes the Almighty sends us tests to see if we are humble and accepting. And sometimes he sends us tests to see how we try our best to rise above them.

I’ve mentioned in the past that Hashem speaks to us through our hearts. We aren’t prophets, nor do we have prophets like we had in the past who can tell us exactly how and what we should be doing. Therefore, Hashem speaks to every one of us through our hearts. It’s that little voice we hear whenever we’re not sure what to do. That small voice within us is always there. That’s our tzelem Elokim, the image of G-d, within each one of us that is constantly guiding us to do the right thing.

When building the holy tabernacle in the desert, it specifically mentions that Hashem looked for a person with a smart heart to build the holy structure. This just shows how much purity and holiness can be found in our hearts. However, we must make room for this holiness and clarity of thought to come through.

The more one trains themselves to listen to this strong feeling in his heart, the clearer that voice will get and the easier it will be to do what is right each time.

Hashem wants us to constantly ask him for help. He is always waiting to hear from us. If we don’t hear Hashem calling us and missing our voice, then G-d creates situations that we will be “forced” to talk to him. Through unpleasant situations.

G-d, unlike us, can see what we are doing and where we are. So it makes Him sad that his children are not calling upon him. It can be asking for no traffic on the way home from work, or just talking to G-d on the way home instead of listening to the radio, or talking on the phone to pass the time till you arrive home safely.

There is a story of a poor chassid of the Ba’al Shem Tov named Moshe who was meant to get rich and have great wealth. However, he never asked Hashem to help him get out of his poor situation. So G-d sent the holy Ba’al Shem Tov to stay in his home with a couple of his chassidim and eat every last piece of food in his home till he had nothing left for his children. At this point the chassid looked up at the heavens and said, “Master of the world, you know I have never asked you for anything, but my children are so hungry. Please send me food for them.”

Hashem then sent him his gentile neighbor who was too drunk to go and buy himself some wine. He asked Moshe the chassid to go and get him something to drink and with the change to buy whatever he wishes. This went on for a few weeks until the gentile neighbor told Moshe that he treats him better than his own son, and if he should pass away, he wants to give him, Moshe, his wealth. And soon after, this drunken neighbor passed away and Moshe inherited all of his wealth.

This wealth was coming to the chassid, but he never stopped to ask, or even believed that he would ever be a rich man. We limit ourselves to what our naked eyes can see. But the heart is unlimited. It can love beyond bounds and it can dream and create castles that in reality don’t exist. This is a positive quality that helps us reach for more and push ourselves beyond that point of just reasoning.

When the Almighty sees that we are asking for something that is very unlikely to occur, as far as the brain can see it, Hashem helps this become a reality. Why is this so? Hashem wants to see how much we believe that He can do the impossible, how much do we believe in what we are asking for and how much do we really feel that we deserve it, and that G-d can answer all our prayers.

If a doctor tells the family that their loved one won’t heal and there is nothing to do, that family will, as believing Jews, go and pray. Sometimes that person makes it through and sometimes not. But the point is that we try, since we believe that Hashem can do the impossible.

We must take this belief in Hashem to the simplest level. Not only if one is sick, heaven forbid, but even for a small matter. If a person wants a job that is completely unlikely that he will get, that person should do all in his power to pray and give G-d good reasons why he should get that job.

When we go in front of a judge we try to get the best lawyer. Why? To say all the right words and present the best arguments that will find favor in the eyes of the judge.

So why don’t we do that with Hashem who is the judge of all judges and the most merciful and kind.

If we really want something and believe that it’s good for us, then we should ask our Father to grant us our wish. Our wish might not always be fulfilled, however the more we believe in what we are asking for and the more reasoning we do with G-d, the more likely Hashem is to fulfill our request because Hashem is capable of anything.

We are now in the month of Elul when it’s written that the King Hashem is walking in his field and that we can approach him easily without any guards or blockades.

May we wish, believe and receive all it is we are dreaming of and asking for from our Father our King.

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Michal can be reached at [email protected]