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Kislev 24

He [the God-fearing person] will not fear evil tidings, his heart being firm in his trust in God (Psalms 112:7).

Is a person supposed to take steps to provide for oneself, or should one rely completely on God to take care of everything?

If relying on God is taken to mean doing nothing for oneself, this is certainly not the Divine will. The Torah says that God will bless you in all that you do (Deuteronomy 15:18), which obviously means that God expects us to do for ourselves.

But one's trust in God is all important. Some people have the capacity to do things for themselves, but are unable to put their capabilities into action because of intense anxiety. For example, some students who know their material thoroughly report that their minds go blank when they take an exam. They may fail the course not because they lack the requisite knowledge, but because they panic and are unable to use the knowledge they have. A person who has firm faith and trusts in God is much less likely to become a victim of such paralyzing anxiety.

While there are such things as panic or anxiety attacks that are medical problems and require treatment, there is also a variety of anxiety that is due to feelings of insecurity and apprehension. This kind of anxiety is greatly mitigated by a firm trust in God.

Today I shall...

try to develop a firm trust in God, that nothing terrible will happen to me, and then go on to use my God-given abilities.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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