Of Gold Watches and Bus Fares

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  • #1286329

    catch yourself
    Participant

    Of course, as 29 pointed out, the issue of Emunah is one which absolutely must come with a firm Mesorah. Precisely for this reason,I think it would be wrong to allow a certain “definition” to go unanswered. I therefore think that the closure of the other thread was premature by at least one post:

    Emunah is the foundation of Judaism. While it is enticing to believe that through blind, baseless declarations of conviction, we are able to insulate ourselves from any sort of problems, this is not a correct explanation of what our Emunah should be.

    Well known and glamorous stories notwithstanding, trust in Hashem does NOT mean that by convincing myself that Hashem ***will*** provide whatever I think I need, I will have manipulated Him into doing so.

    True Emunah is the knowledge that Hashem is directing events, and that He does so in the best possible way for the best possible outcome, as defined by His Will. Despite the popularity and allure of certain contemporary works on the subject, this is the mainstream approach, based on the majority opinion of Rishonim, Acharonim and recent/contemporary authorities.

    What other explanation of Emunah can make sense? Perhaps it is to your detriment to receive a gold watch (as an aside, I am not convinced that the famous story with Rav Elchanan ever happened)? Maybe it is to your benefit not to be able to ride the bus right now? Emunah is a logical concept, the recognition of which is to permeate our being and calm our emotions. It is not an emotional concept which is to override logic.

    #1286377

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Catch yourself, Thank you!!!! Well said! ☺

    #1286650

    Nechomah
    Participant

    LB, I think true understanding why things that seem horrible to us are good for certain people can only happen once a person has left this world of limited understanding and gone on to the upper spheres. Are you going to point your finger at someone sitting in a wheelchair and say, yes, I know that it was best for you to suffer in pain your whole life and not be able to walk like a normal man? No, I think that would be very insensitive of you and really how can you “know” all the details of that person’s life that would permit you to “know” such a thing as a fact. We have to have emuna that HKB’H” is running the world and whatever he does is from love and have the humility to admit that I do not understand why terrible things can happen to people. Anyway, most things are better understood with lots of hindsight, but that could take many, many years to come into focus.

    If you have the difficult situation that you are confronting yourself, believe me that you will be hard pressed, even with loads of emuna beforehand, to not stumble and doubt that this is really good and have questions that you did not have beforehand and need support from people like the mentors the mods have mentioned in the other thread in order to come out of the situation (even if the situation cannot have a “happy” ending) with our belief that HKB”H is running the world and loves us intact, but that is the most important thing.

    Just as a side note, think about Megillas Esther, which we just read on Purim. Who would thought, particularly if you were Esther, that her being picked as the new queen for Achashverosh was a good thing at the time that it happened? Not you and probably not anybody else. The fact that it truly was a good thing only became clear when the opportunity presented itself to someone with clear thinking like Mordechai, who saw that “perhaps for this situation you rose to your position” and from there came the yeshua that no one could have foreseen. Do you have any idea how long the whole story of Megillas Esther took place? Find out if not, I’m not sure myself, but I think it was much more than 20 years from start to finish. Who would remember the details from 20 years ago and connect them later on to the final parts of the story. The Megillah was written with ruach hakodesh, so that is how we have all the pieces put together in front of us in the Megillah, and we can see the connections and understand that what happened in the beginning was from HKB”H and was truly good, but without the help of the megillah and the hindsight that it provides,

    #1287942

    Are you going to point your finger at someone sitting in a wheelchair and say, yes, I know that it was best for you to suffer in pain your whole life and not be able to walk like a normal man?

    Perhaps it’s not something you should go around saying to afflicted individuals…
    But if all Hashem does is for the best, then yes, that must be the case, and you know it.
    You don’t know why, of course, but you know. (If you were a rabbi, and a wheelchair-bound
    man asked you, “Is this really what’s best for me?,” what would you tell him?)

    #1288316

    Nechomah
    Participant

    RX, you’re for sure right that if you or I were a rabbi (well, I can’t be a rabbi and definitely do not want to be a rabbah or any such thing) or if we were someone who was considered learned enough that a suffering person would come to us for advice on how to manage their situation, then I am sure we would take that person’s personal situation into consideration and help them struggle through the issue, but I don’t think we would give platitudes about having “emuna”.

    What you said about “not knowing why” is the key. We are lowly people compared to HKB”H and cannot possibly think that we can understand all of the aspects of the situation, including potentials for the future that we can know nothing about, that He has taken into consideration before afflicting this person with this seemingly terrible situation. Appreciating the gadlus of the Borei Olam could be the first step to this.

    LB, perhaps you would considering learning the 6 Constant Mitzvos which is something that was developed by R’ Noach Weinberg, zt”l, the founder of Aish HaTorah. I’m sure there are learning links through Aish’s site that deal with this material. It’s amazing stuff!! And it’s for women, too!!!

    #1288321

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Nechomah, I love everything you just said!!! Thank you and such truth 💖

    #1288334

    kitov
    Participant

    Catch yourself with all due respect we can’t have blind faith in your definition of emunah.
    Show us some proof from the Torah that your definition of emunah is the correct one.

    #1288351

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Nechomah, thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check out the door Constant Mitzvots on Aish 🙂

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