WHEN FACING BITACHON HEADWINDS
Bitachon Bytes, VaYigash
By Rabbi Zalman Goldberg
One of the vital aspects for upkeep of Bitachon is that it should be active in a person’s reality constantly. Even during challenging times, the same focused Bitachon mindset and easy-going mood should be maintained.
It can happen that one will begin to work on strengthening his Bitachon in Hashem during a time which is not especially challenging for him, during which it will be noticeable that the level of simcha in his life has risen. Then, it could happen that his Bitachon may be threatened by perceived difficulties and his bitachon and simcha will be put to the test. For such a situation we are reminded of the famous teaching of the Baal Shem Tov on the pasuk .שויתי ה’ לנגדי תמיד In a literal sense this means that “I place Hashem before me constantly.” The Baal Shem Tov explains that שויתי also means השתוות which connotes equality, in the sense that to all ‘times’ and to all situations a person should react equally, always in a balanced manner. The way to accomplish this is by realizing that (as the pasuk concludes) “Hashem is opposite me constantly.” When one is opposite a king, no matter what is happening, one’s reaction will be a disciplined one.
When the Rebbe Rashab suggested a shidduch for Reb Yisroel Noach HaGadol (Bilinitzky), the girl’s family wanted to know more about the prospective groom. The Rebbe Rashab answered their inquiry by saying, “Even when he is alone in his room he fears Hashem.1” His yiras Shamayim was an invariable experience, and not just a show for the public eye.
How does the average person maintain Bitachon equilibrium at all times, even at a weak moment or while experiencing hardship?
We can look at Yosef and learn from his example. Yosef was the one who sustained his extended family during the days of famine2.
This was not just material sustenance, but spiritual too3. As we see in the pasuk, נוהג כצאן יוסף, that Dovid HaMelech refers to all the Yidden at all times as Yosef. This is because he sustains all Yidden and enables them to come out of sticky situations looking great.
How is that? Yosef himself had a lot of experience with being in tough circumstances and ending up on top. After being sold into slavery as a teenager, enduring the abuse of his buyers, being resold into slavery in Egypt and then thrown into jail, he still held onto his Torah study and his connection to Hashem. His extreme experiences were unparalleled by any of our forefathers. He is therefore the appropriate one to transmit to others the power of being able to overcome all obstacles and becoming the king over the challenges4.
So when our Bitachon is tested, we should remember and contemplate that Yosef was also in a galus and he not only survived the galus, he thrived. We too can harness this energy with which Yosef sustains us and put it to work to our advantage, that there should never be a situation which will eclipse our Bitachon in Hashem.
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.
1) ישראל נח הגדול ע’ 29.
2) ויגש מז, יב, וראה רש”י ומצו”ד תהילים פ, ב.
3) לקו”ש חכ”ה ע’ 252 ואילך.
4) עיי”ש סעיף ו’ ואילך.