YOUR LEVEL OF BITACHON DETERMINES YOUR FUTURE
Bitachon Bytes, Shmos
By Rabbi Zalman Goldberg
The worst and most destructive temperament to Bitachon is fear. One who is fearful of what the future holds is clearly not practicing Bitachon in Hashem. When exercising trust and reliance in Hashem, one’s entire attention is focused on Hashem’s omnipotence, to the exclusion of any other existence, and when doing so there is no existing factor that can cause fear. The practice of this is not as easy as it sounds and considerable energy must be invested into focusing only on Hashem in such a focused way.
On a more practical level, the problem with fear is not only that it displays a lack of Bitachon, it also can cause a negative outcome to occur. This is in opposition to Bitachon because Bitachon actually causes positive results.
This point is highlighted in this week’s parsha, where the Torah relates that Moshe Rabbeinu was gripped with fear and said, “The matter has become known [that I killed a Mitzri].” In a discussion of what was the point of mentioning this fear of Moshe, the Rebbe explains that Bitachon is not just a calming tactic, but is actually the activation of a positive outcome.
As is seen in the story of a chassid of the Tzemach Tzedek who cried that his child was fatally and terminally ill r”l and the Tzemach Tzedek’s responded that, “Tracht gut vet zain gut.” The Tzemach Tzedek demanded Bitachon on the part of the chassid which would bring about desirable results, in his case, a healthy child. Conversely, fear that the child may lose his life may bring on exactly such results r’’l.
The same held true for Moshe Rabbeinu. Even when he realized that his act of killing the Egyptian had been revealed, steadfast trust in Hashem that he would be alright would have brought about a more favorable sequel to the story. As a result of his fear, however, Pharaoh also found out and subsequently pursued Moshe and sought to kill him. Moshe was now forced to escape to save his life.
Because Moshe did not trust that Hashem would ensure that no harm would befall him as a result of his good deed, that of defending a fellow Yid, that itself led to Pharaoh pursuing revenge. If Moshe would have had complete Bitachon, the whole episode would have been completely forgotten and life would have continued in a good and comfortable manner.
To put it simply, Bitachon and fear are not just a state of being, they also forge the future. Bitachon will bring a situation of good, while fear can lead to the opposite. We must realize that a lack of Bitachon is not just a problem in our service of Hashem with no practical consequences; it can actually cause the exact consequence we want to avoid. Bitachon is the only solution.
Rabbi Zalman Goldberg is a well sought after speaker and lecturer on Chassidic thought. His writings and recordings on the topic of Bitachon can be accessed at http://www.gotbitachon.com.