Monday, February 1, 2010

The Prophet Nechemiah and "Bitachon"

Photo: Ruins of the Old City wall in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter  


Last night I went to a Shiur (lecture) given by Rabbi Mordechai Machlis. The Rabbi likes to teach the Prophets and he does it very thoroughly. Word by word and sentence by sentence. At the moment, he is teaching the "Book of Nechemiah, Chapter 7".

The first chapters of Nechemiah tell us, among others, how the Prophet started rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. He put special emphasis on the city's protection and thus rebuilt walls and gates. Furthermore, he set up guards working in shifts.
Last night, however, the question arose why Nechemiah put so much emphasis on the protection. Why all those walls and gates ? Would we not rather assume that the Holy City is under the entire protection of G - d Himself ?

What does "Trust in G - d - Bitachon" mean ? Can we easily say that G - d will help us anyway ? Can we just sit, fold our hands and wait until His help is showing up ? Can someone looking for a job just say "G - d will help me and I sit here and wait" ? Or does "trusting in G - d" mean that, first of all, it is US taking some action. Making a start by doing something and THEN G - d will be on our side and advance us ?

Nechamiah tried to protect Jerusalem. He took action and thus, gained G - d's support. We can learn from the Prophet that it is important to do something and not just sit and wait until G - d may help us.

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