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Unread 01-20-2002, 12:05 PM   #1
Jude
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bitachon; Think Good and it will be Good

Another area in which Chassidus differs with the non-Chassidic view is in bitachon. The non-Chassidic understanding of bitachon is that it means trusting that Hashem is in charge of everything, nothing happens if He does not will it to happen. In this view, Hashem is not beholden to you by virtue of your trust.

In the Chassidic view of bitachon, if a person trusts that Hashem will provide him with parnasa or health or whatever it is, Hashem will respond with that which the person seeks.

Here's a practical application: In the non-Chassidic view, if a person is seriously sick ch'v, it would be wrong for someone to tell him to tracht gut, vet zein gut (to think positively and it will work out well), because who knows? Maybe Hashem has other things in mind? Maybe that's false hope in a bleak situation?
I have heard this view expressed time and again among non-Chassidim.

The origin of tracht gut vet zein gut goes back to a story of a Chassid of the Tzemach Tzedek who went to the Tz. Tz. because his son was on the verge of death. The Tz. Tz. told him tract gut vet zein gut and the child recovered. When did the child take a turn for the better? The moment the Chassid began thinking this way.

The Rebbe emphasized this greatly. Some ask, but who says a person deserves whatever it is that he's praying for? Maybe he won't get it because he's not deserving?

The answer is, that BY VIRTUE OF THE TRUST, the person gets what he prays for, EVEN IF he's not particularly deserving. If a person goes beyond his limitation, and trusts in Hashem in situations where doctors tell him it's hopeless, or just the situation itself seems hopeless, Hashem responds in kind.

My favorite story is about the talmidim of the Besht who were sent by the Besht to a man to learn about bitachon. As they visit with him, a man comes in and pounds on the table and then leaves. Their host explains that this is the first warning from the poritz that he must pay the rent. He seemed relaxed about it, and when the man came in a second and a third time and banged on the table, he still seemed calm. The talmidim said: So you have the money? and to their surprise he said he didn't.

The talmidim watched in great curiosity as the man set off to the poritz's mansion to pay the rent, with no money in his pocket. They wondered how it would play out.

In the distance they saw a wagon approaching the host, stopping, and then travelling on, then stopping again, turning around and going back to their host. Then their host continued on to the mansion.

When he returned, the talmidim were eager to hear what had happened. So, did you pay the rent?!

Of course, he said. How did you do that if you had no money? they wondered.

He explained that the farmer in the wagon that approached him had offered to buy the produce that would eventually grow on his land. He made an offer but the amount was not enough to pay his rent, and so he DECLINED. That's why the wagon drove on.

But then the farmer changed his mind and drove back. I know you to be an honest person, and if that's what you think you should get, I'll pay you. And the farmer gave him the full amount, whereupon the man could pay his rent!

A modern-day version. I heard this from a cousin of the Brooks. A few years ago, a Brook daughter became dangerously ill in a reaction to some medication. She was at death's door, and when the father was at the Ohel and somebody suggested to the father tract gut vet zein gut, he figured he had no other choice. He decided that if he was truly thinking positively, he would prepare a seudas hoda'a for his daughter's recovery. He actually called the caterer etc. and yes, his daughter made it to the seuda's hoda'a!

Some people don't understand this and say: but I did think positively and yet it didn't "work." The answer is, these words aren't a mantra to repeat over and over. In the story of paying the rent for example, the host's entire being was one of utter trust that Hashem would enable him to be able to pay the rent. It's a mindset, not a prayer or segula.
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Unread 01-20-2002, 12:28 PM   #2
ChachChach
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thank Jude...in our day and age, a post like this is comforting to read

about everything from Heaven being good. i learned a sicha once(i'm sorry, i dont remember which one) in which the Rebbe discusses the difference between Gam Zu Litova (this too is for the good) and Kol Mah Di'uvid, Rachmana Litav Ovid (everything that GD does is for the good). The Rebbe discusses the difference between the two. Gam Zu Litova is in hebrew, and was said during the generation of Nachum Ish Gam Zu. During this time, the ppl werent so sunken into golus, and they were able to see how everything from Heaven was actually good. Not only that the outcome itself was good, but that whatever happened was actual good.

Kol Mah Di'avid, on the other hand, was said by Rabbi Akiva. He lived in the generation after Nochum Ish Gam Zu. During his times, the darkness of golus had increased, and it was harder for the people to see how everything from Heaven was good. They could just see how the outcome was good.

The Rebbe brings down both of their stories. Nochim Ish Gam Zu had been sent by the chachumim in Eretz Yisroel to deliver a casket of jewels for the ceaser. while he was travelling to Rome, and inkeeper switched the precious cargo for dirt. in the end, however, it all worked out, bc Eliyahu Hanavi came and told the king that the dirt was probably magic. the king sent the dirt to the battlefront, and his foes were defeated. The Rebbe shows how every twist of the story was really for good, how Nachum was able to see the good in each event.

Then the Rebbe brings the story of Rabbi Akiva, how he was stranded in a field with only his donkey, candle and rooster. After a lion killed his donkey, the wind blew out his candle, and his rooster was eaten up, Rabbi Akiva still trusted that everything was going to turn out good. That night, a band of bandits attacked the town and killed out all the inhabitants. Although everything turned out good in the end, the Rebbe shows how each event actually caused Rabbi Akiva tzar, although he had bituchon that in the long run , things would work out okay.

In the end, as the generations go further down, it gets harder and harder to see how everything is good. Although we arent on the level of gam zu litova-being able to see how actual events are good, we can all strive to reach the level of kol mah di'avid=that in the end, the outcome of everything is good.
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Last edited by ChachChach; 01-20-2002 at 01:21 PM.
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Unread 01-20-2002, 11:57 PM   #3
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Re: bitachon; Think Good and it will be Good

Thanks for the post... Very enlightening read.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jude
Some people don't understand this and say: but I did think positively and yet it didn't "work." The answer is, these words aren't a mantra to repeat over and over. In the story of paying the rent for example, the host's entire being was one of utter trust that Hashem would enable him to be able to pay the rent. It's a mindset, not a prayer or segula.
There is, of course, the aspect that some people abuse this, and assume that if they think positively about absolutely everything in life, it will all turn out the way they'd like it to. (Which is silly in itself, being as not always are things as you'd like them to be going to wind up being for the best.) But then there are people who get to thinking, "It will be good, it will be good" when they really shouldn't be, such as when someone does something he or she shouldn't and then expects that if s/he thinks positively, it will get rid of the whole mess...

It's kind of like when a child asks G-d for something, say, a toy of some sort... And if his greatest desire (to have this toy) were to be granted, something would ch'v happen to one of his family members. (A reverse kaparah, would you call it? ) Such is somewhat of an example of using prayer, or a mindset of prayer, in situations where one really shouldn't be.
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Unread 01-22-2002, 01:48 PM   #4
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Thank you, Chachchach, that was very clear and very helpful.

It occurs to me that an analogy might be: this attitude is like oxygen and vitamins. If the body lacks what it needs, eventually the health of the body suffers. If the spirit lacks the attitude it needs, eventually the health of the spirit, which includes everything in our life, suffers. And, if a person is deficient in, say, vitamin B and gets beriberi (sp?), a dose of vitamin B can heal him; similarly, if a person's attitude has been deficient and the person develops suffering, a dose of corrected attitude, if truly assimilated to the soul, can heal the events that cause suffering.

The analogy isn't perfect because sometimes we need so MUCH of the good attitude to protect us from harm.

I know someone who says the important thing isn't to avoid harm but to avoid suffering--i.e. just to accept whatever happens. That is an attempt to heal our hearts from suffering, which is quite different from attempting to heal events. Naturally I feel it is better to avoid harmful events unless they are Divinely planned for some good purpose (and who knows which are and which are not? Maybe the Rebbe, but not the ordinary Jew!) However, it is also good, once the painful event has occurred, to heal our souls from being hurt by the event. What does Hasidus say about this distinction?

Thank you.
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Unread 01-22-2002, 02:41 PM   #5
Jude
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every day in the morning davening we ask Hashem (among other things) to protect us from tests, embarrassment .. a bad person, a bad friend ... and to make us find favor, kindness and mercy in Hashem's eyes and in the eyes of all who see us ..

then we go on to ask that we be saved from insolence .. a bad person, a bad friend, a bad neighbor, .. an unusual death, bad sicknesses, bad events ... etc.

we seek to avoid harm, suffering, all negative things

may we all enjoy only revealed goodness!
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Unread 01-22-2002, 09:19 PM   #6
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Here’s a story that can be applied to those situations in which people say: but I really “thought good” and it didn’t work out?!

After giving a speech about bitachon, a student of R’ Yisrael Salanter told his teacher that he was going to stop working and sit and learn because he had faith that the 20,000 rubles he needed would be sent to him directly from Hashem.

A week went by and the man was no richer than before. He came crying to R’Yisrael Salanter and asked: What happened? I had bitachon, but didn’t get any money?!

R’ Yisrael Salanter asked him, “If I give you 8000 rubles cash right now, in exchange for the 20,000 rubles you will be receiving, will you accept that?

The man said, sure! And then R’ Yisrael Salanter said, “Your bitachon can’t be that strong if you are willing to trade 20,000 rubles for 8000 rubles! Obviously your bitachon in my 8000, is greater than your bitachon in Hashem’s 20,000!

The lesson for our subject: there’s thinking positively and THINKING POSITIVELY!

P.S. See thread R' Michoel der Alter in Farbrengen, for the precise story of the Tzemach Tzedek telling the Chassid, "tract gut vet zein gut.

Last edited by Jude; 01-23-2002 at 12:18 PM.
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Unread 02-05-2002, 03:55 AM   #7
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Trust in Hashem

I dont know if this particular topic belongs here but it sure seems the most suitable place for it.
So this is my question more or less:
If I am angry at a person or at something that happened am I showing a lack of faith and trust in Hashem ?
Am I actually angry at Hashem being as He is the one who arranged what would happen beforehand?
I'm new at this forum and I dont understand exactly how it works which is why my message was posted in Jewish Teens -while I have absolutley nothing against the teens I am not a teen so if someone could help me out for next time I"de appreciate it.
Thanx

Last edited by Yehudiya; 02-05-2002 at 05:16 AM.
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Unread 02-05-2002, 04:01 PM   #8
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Yes, being angry that something happenned is definitely a sign of lack of trust. The Rambam describes the Chacham as never becoming angry, only SHOWING anger when it is necessary to get a point of wrongdoing across.

Being angry or upset, while a natural reaction, means that you do not think that everything Hashem does is for the good. It means you're still human :-), and have more work to do on improving yourself. Amazing, isn't it! I keep on trying to convince myself that I've reached perfection, but for some reason it just doesn't work. Oh well...

And Hashem arranging it, means that Hashem thinks that this is for the good. There are 2 statements: Gam Zu Letovah, and Kol DeAvid Rachmana Letav Avid. This is also for the good, and all that Hashem does is for the best. The Rebbe actually speaks about the diferrence between the 2 sayings in a Sichah.
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Unread 02-07-2002, 10:40 AM   #9
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In R' Bachya ibn Pekuda's Chovos Ha'Levavos, shaar ha'bitachon, he writes:

If we knew we had a friend who:

1) never ceases worrying about us
2) is able to fulfill our wishes
3) knows our exact needs and what is good for us
4) controls all the people and powers in the world and does not allow any of them to harm or benefit us without his consent
5) is overflowing with kindness and compassion even if we are undeserving

we would totally relax and stop worrying about ANYTHING.

Hashem is merciful and gracious; He neither slumbers nor sleeps, He is your Father, He made you, Hashem is good to all and His mercy is on all His creations etc.
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Unread 02-07-2002, 12:48 PM   #10
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its not something that comes overnight...its something that you really have to put alot of effort into achieving. however, its worth the work
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Unread 03-25-2002, 07:22 PM   #11
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I heard an amazing story which was printed in the newspaper, and written by an eye-witness. Two men were in Auschwitz, and one said he was convinced he'd live to get out of there. The other one was not that sure he'd make it, and wondered why the other one thought he would. They had this conversation every day, as more and more people died or were killed.

Finally, their turn came and they, among many others, were in the gas chamber. So the conversation repeated itself, with one saying he was absolutely certain he would get out, and the other one resigned to death.

Incredibly, the gas didn't work and the commander came and said the room was too crowded and eight had to leave. The one who believed he would survive, as well as the eye-witness, were among the eight, while the one resigned to death died with all the rest.

Tract gut, vet zein gut is not merely an optimistic perspective. It's a mindset of certainty, and it is something that people of all levels can experience. In other words, it is definitely not relegated to tzaddikim. The big question is: how does one "click into" this mindset with nary a doubt ...
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Unread 04-27-2002, 02:47 PM   #12
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BS"D <<The big question is: how does one "click into" this mindset with nary a doubt ...>>

Perhaps by singing a joyous Chassidic melody!
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Unread 04-28-2002, 12:13 AM   #13
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There was a child who was born with a club foot. When he learned about the power of bitachon, he, being a child, believed it. That night he told Hashem that he would like to wake up in the morning with a normal foot. And he went to sleep happy, satisfied and convinced that this would indeed be the case. When he woke up in the morning, he still had a club foot. He was shocked and amazed. He was so disappointed. He was devastated. He had absolutely truly expected that HaShem would give him a normal foot because of his total belief--and then it didn't happen.

Was there anything lacking or incorrect in the child's attitude? Was he wrong to expect that HaShem could make his foot become normal overnight? Surely not: HaShem can do anything. Was his confident expectation an example of bitachon? Surely yes. Then why was his foot not made normal?
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Unread 05-22-2002, 07:23 AM   #14
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Re: bitachon; Think Good and it will be Good

[quote][i]Originally posted by Jude

The answer is, that BY VIRTUE OF THE TRUST, the person gets what he prays for, EVEN IF he's not particularly deserving. If a person goes beyond his limitation, and trusts in Hashem in situations where doctors tell him it's hopeless, or just the situation itself seems hopeless, Hashem responds in kind.

Reply: Listen.., we all die. Death really isn't concerned with gender, age, wealth, prayer or no prayer.When death comes.., it comes. It will come to each and everyone of us. Whether by sickness,accident, murder, or suicide.., when death comes it comes. If sickness could be defeated by trust in HaShem all would trust Him by virtue of immediate cause and effect mentality.This is just not the way it is. Good and holy people get sick and die. And even with the suffering, grief, and loss of health.., they continue to worship HaShem.
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Unread 07-08-2002, 10:46 PM   #15
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In light of all that was said above, though, a person can't just sit back and put his total trust in Gd saying, "I believe with complete faith that He will take care of everything for me. I won't have to work, my money will be supplied etc." Effort must be done by the person for Gd to respond to him.
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Unread 07-09-2002, 11:11 AM   #16
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Effort must be made, while simultaneously believing that the effort is not what does it. Effort is only made because G-d said to do so.

As far as the post about death etc. - people have NOT tried trusting in the way that the Chabad Rebbeim explained to do it. And anyway, the Rebbe said we have a reached a stage of "eternal life", should we choose to access it with utter bittul-self nullification to G-d.

Last edited by Jude; 07-09-2002 at 10:22 PM.
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Unread 07-09-2002, 09:43 PM   #17
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What do you mean, "efforts not what does it"? Nothing can happen without a person's effort!?!? If a person puts effot into something, but doesn't believe that that helps any . . . then why the effort? When one has a test, they're only going to put the effort into studying if they know it'll pay off. Otherwise, what's the point? Effort IS what does it!!! Teachers and parents are constantly telling their students/children to put effort into things to be able to see any results. You are now saying the exact opposite ....
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Unread 07-09-2002, 09:55 PM   #18
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I'm not going to tell you this is easy to grasp, but although we are told to make efforts to make a living, to find a shidduch, to get healed, etc. it's not the effort we make that leads to the results as in cause and effect. Hashem has His own cheshbonos, which is why you sometimes see that a person really sweats but doesn't make a living, while another person makes a little hishtadlus and succeeds.

The rule is: make your hishtadlus, but the bottom line is: ha'kol b'yidei shomayim, chutz m'yiras shomayim (everything is in the hands of Heaven, except fear of Heaven).
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Unread 07-09-2002, 10:16 PM   #19
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I hear you, I hear you.
So then what IS the right attitude to use when going into something? Effort matters? It doesn't? Do it anyway? Just believe that Hashem will take care of it for you? etc. ?????
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Unread 07-09-2002, 10:27 PM   #20
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same as before : make efforts because Hashem said to do so! Do the things that need to be done, i.e. learning and davening, and consult with a mashpia as to how big you should make the "vessels"
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Unread 07-09-2002, 10:43 PM   #21
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Right, you said to make the effort because Hashem said to do so. But what if your efforts will reap no reward? I mean, why would anyone put any effort into anything if they were told that their success did not depend on it?
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Unread 07-10-2002, 01:28 PM   #22
Jude
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you gotta do what you gotta do and leave the rest to G-d
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Unread 07-10-2002, 01:44 PM   #23
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Where do you want your reward in this world where you will see it now, or in the next where you will see it forever
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Unread 07-10-2002, 01:47 PM   #24
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I think the poster is not so concerned about rewards but is wondering what if you study for a test and fail - what was the point in studying?
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Unread 07-10-2002, 02:12 PM   #25
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<<. learning and davening, and consult with a mashpia as to how big you should make the "vessels>>>

Learning davening, is in the catagory of Yiras Shmayim?
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