Yacov Nordlicht – Parsha Behar

In this week’s parsha, we find the mitzvah of shmittah. Moreinu Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l used to say that this mitzvah is the root of bitachon in HaShem. Only someone who has complete bitachon is able to leave his field for a year and trust that HaShem would see to his needs.

The Ba’alei Mussar explain numerous ways for an individual to grow in his bitachon. One way, is based on a Rambam in Hilchos De’os. The Rambam asks, how is it possible for HaShem to command us to love and fear Him? Love and Fear are emotions which come by themselves! It’s not something which we have control over! The Rambam explains that the commandment isn’t merely to possess a feeling of fear and love for HaShem. Rather, its to look into the briah and be nispoel by the wonders of HaShem. By doing this, a person reflects and recognizes the greatness of HaShem. This results in fear and love of Him.

The same thing is with bitachon. The logic of the Rambam is that it’s impossible to not love and fear HaShem if we’re attuned to His greatness. So too, it’s impossible not to have complete bitachon in HaShem if we constantly see His greatness everywhere in the world.

Sometimes, HaShem gives us a present, a moment of clarity when His presence is simple and clear. An avodah is to take that moment of clarity and extend it to the moments of confusion.

A person grows in his bitachon by realizing the greatness of HaShem. Sometimes, this realization comes in small doses. Other times it comes in torrents. The avodah is to take the inspiration from the times of clarity and relive it every day. As the Ramban says, the big miracles give testimony on the small miracles. When we take such inspiration and apply it to the times where HaShem’s presence isn’t as clear to us- that’s the essence of living a life of bitachon.

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