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Complete Reliance

By Rabbi Yehonatan Salem

One of our main “legacies of life” is the positive commandment in this week’s parashah. “Tamim tiheye im Hashem Elokecha” – “You shall have complete reliance on Hashem your G-d” (Shofetim 18:13). We are commanded to serve Hashem with open faith and sincerity. Even though powers of witchcraft and magic exist, as well as ways of looking into the future, we Jews are commanded to avoid all these activities. We are forbidden to probe into the future or try to change it. Rather, we must empower ourselves through our faith and trust in G-d, and firmly believe that all that He brings upon us is divinely- destined and for our good. Moreover, we must believe that we have the means and capability to handle everything that He sends our way. [It goes without saying that we should and must pray to Him to help us in all our endeavours and save us from all evil.]

Thereasonwhytheseactivitiesareforbiddenisbecausewitchcraft and the like draw their powers from sources of evil, or even from powers of nature. Even though these resources are  G-d  made, they do not have control over us as Jews. We have been instructed, from the time of our forefather Avraham, to know that we are not subservient to nature, the signs of the zodiac or any similar powers. Although “naturally” Avraham Avinu was not able to bear a child, G-d told him to look “beyond nature” and to have faith and trust in Him that he would have offspring. As a result of his faith, Avraham merited having children. We too, must raise ourselves above this “naturalistic outlook,” and understand that with the power of pure faith and trust in G-d, we will be able to cope and succeed beyond all expectations, even when things look bleak. This is because when we have complete reliance and trust totally in G-d, He becomes our “portion” and will accompany us through our life’s travails.

In today’s world, where there is much turmoil, confusion and havoc, people often feel that they are lost or forsaken. Seeking direction, meaning or security in such situations, people sometimes find themselves compelled to resort to false or evil intermediaries or fortune-tellers, which are forbidden by the Torah, in an attempt to resolve or at least reveal their future. Apart from these methods being strictly forbidden, they can in certain circumstances even be fatal. Moreover, it is not emotionally healthy for a person to know what is going to be. It may cause people to become depressed or even worse. And even if a person receives an exciting prediction, since it is dependent upon nature, factors may change and the result may be that one will suffer from shattered expectations.

Our national trademark is our ability to put our complete trust and faith in Hashem and accept everything that He is going to bring upon us. Even when we have foreseen a problem in our private lives, how often have we seen for ourselves how Hashem has tended and taken care of us. When we put our reliance on Him and trust in His kindness, all worrying becomes superfluous.

Let us make a point the next time we see G-d’s divine hand helping us, to internalise the message, then, even when things may be difficult, we will be able to trust in G-d’s ability to help us out.

Shabbat shalom

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