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Weekly Chizuk


All You Have to Do Is Trust

(Excerpt from "Chizuk!")

It is quite well known that reciting Parshas HaMann (Shemos 16:4-36) is a segula for parnossah . However, one cannot merely receite it by rote. The basis for this segula is bitachon. This parsha teaches us that wealth and parnossah come only from the great, generous, and bountiful hand of HaKadosh Baruch Hu. Our forefathers in the desert ate only heavenly bread. So, too, we receive only what the Almighty in His great goodness pours down upon us. It is all blessings from Heaven above. Regarding the mann it states, "and the one who took more didn't have any more (than the measure), nor did the one who took less lack" (Shemos 16:18). So too regarding one's parnossah: wisdom does not bring bread, one's parnossah has nothing to do with his effort or prowess. It has already been decreed for him from Rosh Hashana until the next Rosh Hashana . All that is incumbent upon him is to perform a normal hishtadlus, all the time knowing that his parnossah comes from Hashem.

The heavenly bounty that showers down upon the person and the necessity for hishtadlus is in proportion to his bitachon. The Chassidim tell the following story about the great tzaddik Rebbe Zusha from Anipoli. He and his talmidim of the chevraya kaddisha (members of his Beis Midrash were called the Holy Fellowship) used to sit and devote themselves to learning Torah with total dedication. It once occurred that they had been sitting in the Beis Midrash for several days, learning and davening, but they had no food and were famished. The talmidim pressed the rebbe to go to a certain Oshir (wealthy individual) in town and beg him to have pity on the poor starving talmidim and give them some food. The tzaddik Rebbe Zusha agreed and went to the Oshir's house. He approached the door and put his hand on the handle. Then he went back to the Beis Midrash. The talmidim were shocked to hear his reasoning that by touching the door handle he had fulfilled his obligation of hishtadlus. He had not even knocked on the door and the Oshir had no inkling at all that the tzaddik Rebbe Zusha was standing there in front of his house.

To their further shock, a few moments later the Oshir came running into the Beis Midrash carrying baskets of food for the talmidim. The Chassidim saw clearly that because of the tzaddik's great and lofty bitachon, the little bit of hishtadlus of just touching the door handle was sufficient.

The great Chassidic Rebbe Elimelech in his sefer "Noam Elimelech" (parshas Behar) cites a commentary from his older brother Rebbe Zusha: In parshas Behar the Torah describes the mitzvah of Shmitta. It says, "And if you shall say, what shall we eat in the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our produce. Then I will command My blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years" (Vayikra 25:20-21). This is a very strange statement. Why did Hashem have to wait for Klal Yisroel to ask, "What are we going to eat?" before giving them the bracha? In other places in the Torah He gives the bracha without being asked.

The answer is that when the Ribono Shel Olam created the world, He created the channels to rain down upon the individual a constant bounty of sustenance. As long as Klal Yisroel do not ask the question "What shall we eat?" they are guaranteed the heavenly blessings in limitless bounty merely from the power of their bitachon. They will be able to eat just a little. The food will be so blessed within them that that little bit will satisfy them and they won't need to bother themselves with cutting the crop and harvesting, etc. (See the commentary of the Siforno). However, if they fall in their emuna and become worried and ask, "What are we going to eat?" they have just locked the windows of Heaven and spoiled the storehouses of bounty. HaKadosh Baruch Hu now has to give them a special bracha, "Then I will command My blessing upon you…" HaKadosh Baruch Hu in His great mercy and loving-kindness will shower down a new bracha. But they have bothered the Ribono Shel Olam to create new blessings. They will have to pay the price with hard work in order to get it.

The author of the Toldos Yaakov Yoseph in his sefer Kesones Pasim (parshas Shemini) quotes the Rambam that if we would have perfect bitachon in HaKadosh Baruch Hu we would merit heavenly mann even today! In parshas Mikeitz he cites the Ba'al Shem Tov who comments on the possuk "One who trusts in Hashem is surrounded by chesed" (Tehillim 32:10). If a person has perfect bitachon in Hashem, then angels come to guard him each step of the way. All the evil forces of the world cannot harm him. The sefer Keser Shem Tov by the Ba'al Shem Tov further states that if one really has bitachon in Hashem, then even if he has been condemned to terrible decrees, they have no influence over him. As it states (Tehillim 125:1) "Those who trust in the Lord shall be like Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but exists for ever."

Gut Shabbos!

© Rabbi Eliezer Parkoff

Rabbi Eliezer Parkoff

Rosh Yeshiva

Yeshiva Gedolah Medrash Chaim

Rabbi Parkoff is author of "Chizuk!" and "Trust Me!" (Feldheim Publishers), and "Mission Possible!" (Israel Book Shop ? Lakewood). You can access Rav Parkoff's Chizuk Sheets online:

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