16 Tammuz 5783 – 5 July 2023
Rebbe Nachman writes:
Faith is the basis of everything.
that is, faith in G-d, faith in His Torah, faith in His tzaddikim [righteous teachers] ~ and faith in ourselves.
Without faith, nothing is complete (Advice, Faith #17)
This almost sounds like the beginning of the 13 Principals of Faith.
A person must believe in G-d. People sometimes say: faith cannot be enforced, you either believe or you don’t. By which they then usually mainly mean: “I don’t believe and there is nothing I can do about it”. However, this is not entirely correct. We have all received understanding from G-d and we are therefore all capable of thinking about important questions of life. How did the world come into being, where did I come from, why am I here. All these questions ultimately lead to G-d. He is the Creator of the world, He is the One who sees, hears, and holds everything in His hands. Our life, our soul comes from Him, we have a life task to fulfil here on earth that only we can perform.
Through His Torah, we can get to know Him (a little). He reveals Himself through His Word. He shows that He is gracious and merciful, we read in Pesuke-Dezimra:
Blessed is He Who spoke, and the world came into being, blessed is He; blessed is He Who maintains the creation; blessed is He Who says and does; blessed is He Who decrees and fulfills; blessed is He Who has compassion on the earth; blessed is He Who has compassion on the creatures; blessed is He Who rewards well those who fear Him, blessed is He Who lives forever and exists eternally; blessed is He Who redeems and saves blessed is His Name.
G-d is unchangeable. The Unchangeability or Immutability of God is an attribute that “G-d is unchanging in His character, will, and covenant promises.”. We see this in various texts in the Torah, for example in the texts below.
לֹ֣א אִ֥ישׁ אֵל֙ וִֽיכַזֵּ֔ב וּבֶן־אָדָ֖ם וְיִתְנֶחָ֑ם הַה֤וּא אָמַר֙ וְלֹ֣א יַעֲשֶׂ֔ה וְדִבֶּ֖ר וְלֹ֥א יְקִימֶֽנָּה׃
G-d is not human to be capricious,
Or mortal to have a change of heart.
Would [G-d] speak and not act,
Promise and not fulfill?
הֵ֤מָּה ׀ יֹאבֵדוּ֮ וְאַתָּ֢ה תַ֫עֲמֹ֥ד
They shall perish, but You shall endure;
כִּ֛י אֲנִ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה לֹ֣א שָׁנִ֑יתִי
For I am G-d—I have not changed;
הוֹד֣וּ לַיהֹוָ֣ה כִּי־ט֑וֹב כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ׃
Praise the L-rd; for He is good,
His steadfast love is eternal.(26x)
G-d is immutable and so it makes sense that His Word, His Torah, is immutable. The Torah He gave through Moses at Sinai will always be the same. Nothing may be added to it and nothing may be taken away from it. [see also the shiur “The Torah is From G-d”]
G-d says in His Torah that the Jewish people will believe in Him (G-d) but also in Moses, our teacher. [ see also the shiur Moses was the Greatest Prophet]
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה הִנֵּ֨ה אָנֹכִ֜י בָּ֣א אֵלֶ֘יךָ֮ בְּעַ֣ב הֶֽעָנָן֒ בַּעֲב֞וּר יִשְׁמַ֤ע הָעָם֙ בְּדַבְּרִ֣י עִמָּ֔ךְ וְגַם־בְּךָ֖ יַאֲמִ֣ינוּ לְעוֹלָ֑ם וַיַּגֵּ֥ד מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הָעָ֖ם אֶל־יְהֹוָֽה׃
Hashem said to Moses: “Behold! I come to you, in the thickness of the cloud, so that the people will hear as I speak to you, and they will also believe in you forever.” Moses related the words of the people to Hashem. (Artscroll)
This faith in Moses and in his successors Joshua the Elders, the Prophets, the Men of the Great Assembly, the scholars of the Mishnah and the Talmud and in the true Tzaddikkim. This belief in Moses in his successors Joshua etc. also leads to belief in the true Tzaddikkim is the basis of our faith and forms our teachers to grow spiritually. [see also the blog Mesorah – Chain of Transmission]
Then we come to “faith in ourselves”. It is the belief that you can perform the task Hashem has given you. The task of living according to His Will. That is, keeping the 613 commandments for Jews and keeping the 7 commandments for Gentiles. It also means following G-d’s example and living by it. The example we can practically live by is seen, for example, in the morning brachot:
Then we come to “faith in ourselves”. It is the belief that you can perform the task Hashem has given you. The task of living according to His Will. That means keeping the 613 commandments for Jews and keeping the 7 commandments for non-Jews. It also means following G-d’s example and living by it. The example we can practically live by is seen, for example, in the morning brachot:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ד’ אֱלֹקינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם פּוֹקֵֽחַ עִוְרִים
Blessed are You, Adonoy our G-d, King of the Universe, Who gives sight to the blind.
We need to take care of sick people
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ד’ אֱלֹקינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם מַלְבִּישׁ עֲרֻמִּים
Blessed are You, Adonoy our G-d, King of the Universe, Who clothes the naked.
We need to take care of poor people
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ד’ אֱלֹקינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם מַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים
Blessed are You, Adonoy our G-d, King of the Universe, Who releases the imprisoned.
We need to take care for people who are bound in any way
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ד’ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם זוֹקֵף כְּפוּפִים
Blessed are You, Adonoy our G-d, King of the Universe, Who straightens the bent.
We need to take care of people weighed down by any kind of worry.
Our task can sometimes seem overwhelming. Can I change my traits would that I live in accordance with His will. Am I able to act in accordance with His will? The most important thing then is faith in yourself. And if you haven’t succeeded today then faith that you will succeed tomorrow. Only in this way can we come to grow and develop.
By Angelique Sijbolts
 Healing Leaves by Reb Noson p. 35
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