Halacha Date: 8 Adar 5779 February 13 2019
Question: Does trust in Hashem help even an individual who is not worthy of Hashem’s kindness?
Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Menachot (29b) inquires regarding the meaning of the verse in Yeshaya (Chapter 26), “Trust in Hashem forever, for in Hashem is an eternal rock.” The Gemara answers: “Whoever places his trust in Hashem, Hashem shall be his refuge and strength in this world and in the next.” The Talmud Yerushalmi in Masechet Berachot (Chapter 5, Halacha 1) teaches, “One should never let the following verse diminish from one’s mouth: ‘G-d of Hosts, Praiseworthy is the man who trusts in you!’”
Based on this we can infer that the very essence of trusting in Hashem brings about tremendous goodness upon an individual, as the Midrash (Tehillim 32, Section 719) states, “Rabbi Eliezer says: Even if one is unworthy but he trusts in Hashem, regarding such a person does the verse state, ‘And one who trusts in Hashem shall be surrounded by kindness.’”
Similarly, the Midrash (Shocher Tov, Chapter 141) states: “King David said: ‘Master of the Universe, Although I do not have good deeds, I trust in your kindness. Hashem I call you, heed me! Listen to my voice when I call out to you!’”
The more one becomes accustomed to trusting in Hashem, one will train himself to throw his entire burden upon Hashem, as the verse states, “Throw your burden upon Hashem and he shall sustain you.” By doing so, one will merit much kindness and Heavenly salvation from Hashem.
There were so many simple members of the Jewish nation, especially in the previous generation, for whom the trait of trust in Hashem was so extraordinarily planted in their hearts that as a result, they merited various Heavenly salvations in supernatural ways.
An incident occurred where in his youth, the great Maharal (Rabbeinu Yehuda Loew) of Prague became engaged to a fine and wise young woman named Pearl, daughter of Rabbi Shmuel bar Yaakov, an extremely wealthy individual who was friendly terms with the kingdom. The father of the bride promised a large and handsome dowry for his daughter and accepted the wedding expenses solely upon himself.
Unfortunately, however, fate had it that in a matter of weeks, this wealthy man lost all of his material possessions and became extremely destitute at which point, he was forced to send a letter to the groom stating that he no longer had the means by which to fulfill what he promised and he therefore allows the groom to seek a different bride. (In those days, if the bride’s family would not assist the young couple, there would be no way for the couple to establish their home in the beginning years.)
The groom replied that he trusted in Hashem and that by the time the wedding took place, he hoped that everything would work out. Only if the bride’s father would consider marrying her off to another man would he weigh his options. However, as long as the young woman would wait for him, he would continue to await Hashem’s salvation which can materialize in an instant. In this way, the Maharal continued his studies ever so diligently and with an added measure of sanctity.
When the bride-to-be saw the terrible situation at home, she opened a small shop where she sold all sorts of breads and pastries in order to support her parents. The time was a dangerous one with her country and surrounding ones constantly at war.
One day, an armed soldier riding on a horse arrived at her store and stuck his spear into one of the loaves of bread; as he wished to gallop away without paying for the goods, the young woman grabbed the horse’s bit and began to cry, begging the soldier to pay because she was completely destitute and she needed this money to help support her parents. The soldier replied that he had not eaten in three days and had no money on him but he said that under him was a pillow and that she should take it as payment for the loaf of bread. As he spoke, he pulled out the pillow and threw it into the store.
Several days later, the young woman tore open the pillow’s stitching and found that every row of fabric was laden with gold coins; she instantly became tremendously wealthy! At this point, the bride was twenty-eight years old. The young lady’s father wrote back to the groom that the time for marriage had arrived since he was approximately thirty-three years old and they now had the chance, thank G-d, to hold a respectable wedding. The groom then traveled there and a festive and splendid wedding was held (see Ma’or Yisrael, Derashot, page 349).