By Daniel Keren
Rabbi Yosef Viener, former Rav of the Agudath Israel of Flatbush and currently mora d’asra of K’hal Sha’ar HaShomayim in Monsey recently spoke in Flatbush at a Hakhel orchestrated Yarchei Kallah Event on the topic of “Why are We So Nervous?: Getting Back to the Basics of Bitachon to Navigate the Daily Challenges of Life.”
Rabbi Viener began his lecture by saying that he has always been bothered by the question of why the Jews were instructed by Hashem to depart from Mitzrayim with mipazon, great haste.
After all, Hashem knew exactly when the redemption from Egypt would occur. Why couldn’t the Exodus be executed in a calm manner? In explanation, Rabbi Viener noted that we find throughout Tanach that most of the miracles that Hashem performed on behalf of the Jewish people were executed at just the last second or moment possible.
Why is it so important to anticipate that Moshiach could come at any moment or at the drop of a dime? Rabbi Viener explained that if we are not trained with the belief that Hashem could change and solve our problems at a moment’s notice, we will be unable to handle the numerous challenges that routinely come up every day many times in our lives.
The Ibn Ezra says that the first of the Aseres Hadibros (Ten Commandments) is not to teach us that Hashem created the world, but rather to emphasize that He continuously supervises every second of the world’s existence.
The Rambam says that if you don’t believe in hashgacha pratis (Divine Providence in one’s life,) you are not on the team [with Hashem.] A Ben Torah who doesn’t have trust in Hashem will not have the success in his learning because of the fear of perhaps not having properly mastered what he has previously learned.
A person who worries too much about events in his life might actually cause himself to become seriously ill as a result of his lack of trust in Hashem’s ability to turn things around in a moment’s notice.
We have to be calm in our lives in order to allow ourselves to become vessels that Hashem can bestow blessings and redemptions upon. Often times, parents panic with fear that they might do things for their children’s welfare that might backfire. This important task of raising children also requires bitachon on the part of the parents.
At the end of Mesechta Makkos, Rebbi Akiva and his colleagues hear the loud sound of raucus celebration by the Roman Legionnaires near the Har Habayis where the Second Beis Hamikdosh had recently been destroyed. His colleagues are crying and Rebbi Akiva is smiling. Unable to fathom his reaction, they ask him how can he smile? And he explains that if these wicked Romans are allowed to celebrate in this world [despite have oppressed the Jews and having destroyed the Holy Temple,] how great will be the reward Hashem gives to the Jews in Olam Habah for being loyal to G-d in this world. With than answer, his colleagues were comforted.
Rabbi Viener asked “Why should you smile when walking on the streets?” The answer is because it is good for one both spiritually and physically. Furthermore by smiling you can spread joy to others insofar as the act of smiling is contagious.