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The Crown of Halacha

Eikev 5777 – The Weak vs The Strong

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Devarim 5777

Eikev 5777 – The Weak vs The Strong

“Hear O Israel, today you cross the Jordan to come and drive out nations that are greater and mightier than you, cities that are great and fortified up to the heavens; a great and lofty people, children of giants, that you knew and of whom you have heard, “Who can stand up against the children of a giant?” (9:1-2)

We All Have Fears

The Chasom Sofer remarks that it seems strange Moshe would remind us at this critical time that we are facing a ferocious enemy. Wasn’t it this exact fear that caused us to doubt Hashem and end up wandering the Midbar for nearly 40 years? Why not leave out this warning and just assure us that Hashem will help us emerge victoriously?

Cultivating Emunah and Bitachon

He answers that a person is not always aware of his own needs. For example, while we traversed the Midbar, Hashem took complete care of us. He protected us with the Clouds of Glory, our clothes did not wear out and the mann appeared every morning. It is interesting to note that whatever mann was left over from the day would spoil before the next morning. Since mann was the only source of sustenance for the Jews, every night we would go to sleep facing possible starvation if Hashem did not bring mann again the next day. Therefore, having the bitachon that every morning our daily bread would be provided for was unquestionably one of the greatest tests in the Midbar. It took 40 years to acquire such a pure level of bitachon.

The True Challenge After the Mann Stopped

Entering Eretz Yisrael was another challenge to our bitachon. Not whether we believed in Hashem’s existence, but whether we still needed Hashem’s continual divine intervention. At a certain point, we will become experienced farmers and food harvested at the end of the day could be stored. We were able to go to sleep without worrying about our next meal.  And so with an ample food supply, we might come to forget that Hashem is the source of our sustenance and attribute it instead to our skill in farming. Therefore, after entering Israel, a higher level of bitachon was needed to prevent a person from saying, “kochi v’otzem yadi…” (The strength and the might of my hand made me all this wealth. 8:17.)

The Challenge of Daily Living

Chazal tell us that Hashem gave us the ability to successfully wage war (8:18). Yet we might attribute our victory to a well-planned attack or a unique strategy. It was for this reason that Moshe reminded us that we were about to wage war with a powerful and mighty enemy. One, who without Hashem’s help could easily overwhelm us no matter how well prepared and determined we may be.

Miracles are Everywhere! (Do You See Them?)

Certainly, 40 years of the mann has taught us that Hashem cares for us daily. Because Hashem acts in hidden ways we may come to believe that we are successful based on how clever or strong we are. However, giving praise to Hashem for the miracles that sustain us daily is even greater than giving Hashem praise for the mann! We may be brilliant, organized and energetic but if it were not for Hashem’s constant intervention, we would be easily overwhelmed by our challenges in life.

Series Navigation<< V’eschanan 5777 – What is Your Reason Why?Reah 5777 – It’s Not About the Money! >>
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