Avraham Avinu survives the fiery furnace and his brother Haran perishes. The Midrash relates the story of Terach, the father of Avrohom and Haran, who complained to King Nimrod that his son Avraham had decimated his idols. For this, king Nimrod decreed that Avraham should be thrown into the fiery furnace.
Avrohoms brother Haran was watching this episode unfold and was deliberating which camp he should join; that of the idol worshippers or that of Avraham and those who serve Hashem. Haran decided that if his brother perishes, chas vesholom, he will join Nimrod, and if Avraham miraculously survives, he will join Avraham.
After the public miracle they posed to Haran the question, “Who will you join?”
When Haran answered that he would join Avraham, they threw him in and he was killed.
One of the great lessons in bitachon is that our reliance and faith in Hashem must be without any partnerships, doubts, options or conditions. An authentic connection to Hashem only works if it is solely and exclusively with Hashem. For Yiddin, shituf -partnering Hashem and His salvation with another deity, doesn’t work.
This is the difference between Avraham Avinu and Haran. They both went on mesirus nefesh, but Avraham was completely devoted to the cause with no doubts or preconditions that Hashem will save him. For in that case his connection to Hashem wouldn’t be pure and just for the sake of Hashem. Avrahams conduct was apparently deserving of a miracle. Haran on the other hand was ambivalent. He wasn’t sure that Hashem’s path is the correct one. He needed a sign, precondition to convince him. His faith was not pure, he believed because he saw the miracle, not because Hashem is in fact the Creator of the world.
When one connects completely to Hashem’s reality, one becomes elevated to that reality and miracles can happen. Otherwise its half faith and that’s not living with Hahsem’s reality so the outcome will most probably not be the same.
This can raise the question: if it’s all or nothing, then knowing one’s self, nothing might be the only choice. If one feels that they are very worldly and less ‘Hashem oriented’, than no bitachon might sound like the only logical option.
Chassidus gives a very encouraging answer to this question. Although the ultimate level of bitachon is when a person has achieved full faith in Hashem, and they truly rely on nothing else, bitachon is still a real option for everyone, even those not on this exalted level.
As we know, there are two kinds of true ways to serve Hashem; that of the tzaddik and that of the beinoni. Even though the beinoni isn’t completely with Hashem, for there still exists within him some evil influence, nonetheless, being that his direction is to always win the battle against the evil, he is considered to be doing true avodas Hashem. The same holds true with bitachon, when an imperfect person (one who is not yet a tzaddik with only g-dly goals) firmly resolves to make every effort to behave according to bitachon guidelines to the fullest, even if there are other not g-dly influences battling his noble endeavor, that is considered proper bitachon, for the level on which that individual is on at that particular time.