Advice from the Rav on: Emuna and Bitachon

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faith and trust

Rav Berland’s advice on: Emuna and Bitachon

Continuing our translation of the book, Etzot HaHanachal, a treasury of advice from Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, based on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

You aren’t the boss

  • The closer that a person is to Hashem, the more Hashem starts to oppose him. [Hashem] starts to get very exacting with him, so that he’ll remember that he’s not the boss, here – he’s not even the boss of himself. And he’s certainly not the boss over his possessions, and not the boss when it comes to the plans he’s made.

If a person would get sick, all of his plans would be cancelled – there are no plans! [Once a person understands this], this immediately causes all his arrogant thoughts to be cancelled.

Let the parnassa come and find you

  • A person spends all his life thinking about parnassa, about making a living, and he doesn’t realise that if he would stop thinking about chasing after parnassa, then his parnassa will come to him.

Because you’re chasing after the parnassa, so the parnassa is running away from you. Stop chasing it! Just sit in your home, quietly, and the parnassa will come and find you.

Hashem is everywhere

  • Hashem can be found in the middle of the desert; Hashem can also be found in the middle of the ocean. Just cry out ‘Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokeynu, Hashem Echad!’, and straight away, on the spot, you’ll be rescued, and lifeguards will always stand by your side. Even if a person is to be found in the heart of the ocean, or in the middle of the desert, Hashem is always standing next to him. 

 Micha’s Idol

  • People always like to prepare something ‘on the side’ for themselves, if – by chance – having emuna shouldn’t work out for them, or their prayers won’t be successful, or the Torah learning won’t work. ‘Here, I still have a little bit of parnassa. I have a little bit of money, for my time of need.’ People always like to put something away on the side – just like the idol of Micha, tucked away there on the side.

Yosef prayed to be forgotten

  • Yosef HaTzaddik prayed that the Royal Butler would forget about him.

Walking without fear

  • When a person knows that there’s Hashem in the world, then he doesn’t have any fears. He can walk through the bullets on the road through Shaar Shechem (the Damascus Gate, in the Old City of Jerusalem) without any fear. Before he goes through Shaar Shechem, he says: ‘To my right is the Angel Michael, to my left is the Angel Gavriel, before me is the Angel Uriel, and behind me is the Angel Raphael, and over my head is Hashem’s Divine Shechina. I have nothing to fear!’

Hashem is watching over you

  • Hashem is guarding you from all sides. This is happiness, this is the biggest feeling of security. “Whoever is scared of the One [i.e. Hashem] – they aren’t scared of anyone else.” But if someone isn’t scared of the One, then he’s frightened of everyone else.

The more emuna you have, the more miracles you’ll see

  • Each person needs to start seeing miracles and wonders on every side and every step. The stronger a person’s emuna is, the more he’ll see miracles and wonders in every direction, and with every step he takes. Hashem will surround us for our good, and merit us to live the eternal life.

One mitzvah is enough to overcome

  • If a person trusts in Hashem, and he has emuna in Hashem, and he knows that even if he’s only done one mitzvah – the strength of that mitzvah alone means that he can go and fight, and he will succeed.

But if he doesn’t trust in Hashem, or he thinks that God has forgotten him each time that he experiences a little setback, then Hashem really won’t help him.

We need to know that even if we’re full of sins, Hashem is with us. Why? Because Hashem created us? Hashem is our Abba (father). It’s like when a son is doing a lot of bad things, the father is still always looking for ways to help his son succeed. In the same way, we need to know that Hashem is always looking for the back channels that will help us to succeed. God us always looking for the shortcuts that will help us to succeed.[1]

We are bringing suffering down on our own heads

  • The Rebbe teaches us in Lesson 250 that every type of suffering that a person experiences in his life, it’s only because of jealousy and hatred. It’s only because he’s jealous that someone else is more important than him. He imagines that he’s really more important. The Rebbe says, there is no suffering in the world, really, in this world. There is no suffering!

And all the suffering and the difficulties that a person has – every type of suffering – the person is doing everything to himself, by way of his own jealousy and hatred and envy. He doesn’t have a good eye.

[1] Commentary to Lesson 64, Likutey Moharan