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Parashat Behukotai: Living Without Worry

The Haftara read for Parashat Behukotai is a prophecy from the Book of Yirmiyahu, and contains the famous verse, "Baruch Ha’geber Asher Yibtah B’Hashem, Ve’haya Hashem Mibtaho" – "Blessed is the man who trusts in G-d, and G-d shall be His source of trust" (Yirmiyahu 17:7).

Different interpretations have been given for the difficult phrase "Ve’haya Hashem Mibtaho." One explanation is that Hashem becomes a reliable source of trust for those who place their trust in Him. If "Yibtah B’Hashem" – a person trusts G-d, then "Ve’haya Hashem Mibtaho" – G-d will come through for that individual, and care for him under all situations.

However, Rav Moshe David Vali (Padua, Italy, d. 1777), in his commentary to the Haftarot, explains this verse differently. He writes that many people trust G-d, but also trust other people or things. Many of us, for example, indeed believe that Hashem is the one who provides our needs, but at the same time, we place our trust in our jobs, our bank account, our investments, our businesses, a client, a product, and so on. The prophet here speaks of a person "Asher Yibtah Be’Hashem" – who not only places his trust in Hashem, but "Ve’haya Hashem Mibtaho" – he places his trust exclusively in Hashem, relying only on Him, and not on anyone or anything else.

The prophet compares such a person to a tree that is planted near large springs of water from which its roots draw sustenance, such that "Bi’shnat Basoret Lo Yid’ag" – it is not worried during periods of drought. Rav Avraham Pam (1913-2001), in his work on the Haftarot, notes that this description characterizes somebody who has complete faith in Hashem – he is never worried or anxious. Generally, Rav Pam writes, people feel anxious about things which they cannot control. And when they are unable to control something relevant to them, they become frustrated and angry. One who lives with true Bitahon (faith in G-d), however, knows that in any event, everything in his life and in the world is controlled solely by G-d. He trusts that everything is under G-d’s control and no one else’s, and that G-d is always caring for us, no matter how difficult or hopeless the situation appears.

Rav Pam adds that one of the special qualities shared by all great Torah sages is their constant peace of mind and serenity. Every day, vexing questions are brought to them, and people facing difficult and painful problems come to them seeking their counsel. And yet, despite hearing of all the hardships in Am Yisrael, they are always level-headed and calm. Even when they are beset by personal problems, they maintain their peace of mind. This special ability stems from their Bitahon, from their firm belief that everything is in Hashem’s hands, and He is always doing what is best for us.

Let us all strive to reach the level of "Bi’shnat Basoret Lo Yid’ag," where we do not worry about or fret over difficult situations that arise over the course of life. Let us instead ensure that "Ve’haya Hashem Mibtaho" – we place our trust solely and exclusively in Hashem, and in no one and nothing else, so that we can enjoy serenity and peace of mind at all times, no matter what problems or hardships we are facing.

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