Friday, December 4, 2009

True Emunah

The Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, was a paradigm of living emunah. He would often say that even if one is beset with difficulties he must never say that things are bad, since such statements contradict the truth that everything Hashem does is for our good. Instead, one should say that things are very bitter, since medicines are also bitter but they are certainly good for a person since they heal him. In addition, one who complains that things are bad has lied, since he says that what is ultimately for his good is bad simply because he does not see how it is for the good.
It is not surprising that when Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a, asked Rav Yisrael Portnoy, shlit”a, what he learned in Radin, his simple reply comprised a single word: “Emunah.”
The Chofetz Chaim would say over a vort that he enjoyed in the name of the bathhouse attendant in Radin. “The verses states, 'ואנחנו עם מרעיתו וצאן ידו'—‘And we are the people of His shepherding and the flock of His hand.’ The intention of צאן ידו is that He always guards us without a moment’s break. This parallels the teaching of our sages that the people of Nehardea would not leave their sheep to find their own way to the shepherds’ houses unsupervised for fear of thieves. Instead, the owners would go to the shepherds’ shacks and hand over the sheep from hand to hand.
“This is the meaning of the verse. Divine providence does not leave the Jewish people for even an instant. This is similar to the gemara in Kidushin 72. There we find that before Eli left the world, Shmuel’s light had already begun to shine, since Hashem does not leave the world bereft of tzaddikim to protect and guide us.”


Anonymous said...

Happy shabbat and G-d bless your Homeland and you.
thanks for another very insightful and spiritually strengthening teaching. The chofetz chaim is one of my favourite sages and for many years i am doing his internet course on loshon hara.
is it possible for ordinary people like us to feel and think that everything that happens is for the good or that everything is good. i do know that is the truth, but can we internalise this truth , after all we are not up to the shadows of RAkiva and the holy sages. what more me as a noahide.
i have tried, am trying and G-d willing will continue to try because the holy sages say so. blessings.theresa

Micha Golshevsky said...

Thank you for the kind felicitations and thoughtful comment.
The question you ask is one we all must ask. And of course Hashem only wants what we can give as we have discussed before.
But perhaps a deeper answer can be understood from the following story: Someone once came to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov zt”l in a state of real consternation. “Rebbe, how can I come closer to Hashem? There are so many real obstacles in my path—I have no idea what to do!”
Rebbe Nachman answered pointedly, “This is precisely the way!”
We only overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles by feeling the pain of them and continuing to search.
You are doing very well. Keep up the good work!