Parshas Devarim – King Og of Bashan

By Shalom Olensky

 

This week in the Torah:

The beginning of Deuteronomy. Moses recounts to the Jews their travails throughout the years, coupled with ethical messages on the proper behavior as the Chosen Nation entering the Promised Land. Moses tells of the battles they have won. Regarding battling King Og of Bashan, Moses recounts how G-d told him not to be afraid, implying that Moses had a fear of his enemy which G-d allayed.

Our Sages of blessed memory:

This tells us not to be afraid of our enemies. Indeed, we are commanded by G-d to trust in Him.

Question:

On what logic do we base our trust in G-d, when we might sometimes feel unworthy of G-d’s benevolence?

Hypothesis:

Perhaps trust may be understood to mean “calm,” based on the knowledge that there is nothing and no-one to fear but G-d alone, and no matter the outcome, whether it be pleasant or not, it is solely in the hands of G-d.

Refutation:

However, this would be taking “trust in G-d” out of its simple meaning – the trust that G-d will grace us with a completely positive outcome. Hence, the question still remains; on what basis may we trust in G-d’s benevolence regardless of our level of worthiness?

Anecdote:

The third Rebbe of Chabad, the Tzemach Tzedek, instructed a follower of his who asked for his blessing for his ailing child, “Think good, and it will be good.” Fulfilling this advice brought healing in that instance, and in every later challenge the father experienced as well. This advice was used by the Rebbes of Chabad, frequently and with good results. Obviously, then, positive thinking, trust itself, effects positive results.

Explanation:

Regardless of one’s general moral standing, by virtue of placing one’s load in G-d’s hands and proactively thinking positively, based on the confidence in the G-dly value of this trust itself, G-d fulfills the trust in Him in reciprocity for the trust.

Lesson:

The outcome of a given situation is in one’s own hands. By trusting in G-d one evokes G-d’s reciprocity to channel His blessing through this conduit for blessing – trust in G-d.

(Based on Likkutei Sichos Vol. 36, Shemos)

 

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