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Bitachon: Reflections on Trust

Bitachon: Reflections on Trust

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She stands.

She falters.

She takes an uncertain step forward.

She falls backwards, landing hard. Momentarily confused, she struggles to regain her composure. A soft sob escapes her mouth.

She looks up at me. Waiting for me.

She feels my arms around her. Comforting her. Embracing her with confidence and trust.

She prepares to take a step once again. She has an expression of determination on her face; her eyes are focused with purpose, her lips pursed with resolve.

She flexes her leg muscles. Slowly she raises herself upright, one knee at a time. Soon she is standing. Victoriously.

She is absolutely absorbed in the task at hand. She's not looking up at me any more. She doesn't need to. She knows I'm there.

She sees me applauding her accomplishment, encouraging her, prodding her onward. For the moment, she is full of contentment.

How long will it last? When will she stumble again? It doesn't matter. This moment she is happy. She doesn't consider the next fall, or the next. She doesn't need to.

She is confident that she can deal with them.

For she knows I am here for her. She knows I will be here for her. She feels the warmth of my embrace. And she trusts me.

She doesn't think of the times that I allowed her to fall. She doesn't understand why I didn't catch her those times, every time. She doesn't make such calculations. She doesn't think in such terms. She doesn't need to.

Because she trusts me. Wholeheartedly. Implicitly.

She knows beyond any doubt that I won't allow her to get hurt. She knows I will have a warm embrace, a hug and a kiss for her always. She knows there is nothing better than being in my outstretched arms.

She knows that I am, and always will be, there for her.


She is my ten month old baby daughter, learning how to walk.

But she is also each and every one of us, learning how to grow.


In speaking of our relationship with You, we sometimes speak of our Biatchon, "trust." Other times we speak of our Emunah, our "faith."

Bitachon is the warm embrace that we feel, the assurance that we find in the depths of our heart and soul, that You are watching, caring and holding us.

It is without calculations.

It is just the simple certainty, the assuredness that You are with us.

It is the warm embrace my baby daughter feels when she struggles and stumbles in learning to walk. It is the hug in the wee hours of the night that makes all monsters disappear for my six-year-old son. It is the heart-to-heart talk that solves all friendship problems for my ten-year-old daughter. And it is the knowledge for my teen-age son that, at any point in his life, he will have a listening ear and practical help available to him.


Bitachon differs from Emunah.

The two are almost paradoxical.

Emunah is the faith that all You do is good for us. That You are infinitely wiser than us, and understand better than we what we must go through in life to reveal our strengths and actualize our potentials.

Emunah helps us when we look back at the trials of our lives.

Emunah is how my six-year-old will look back at a punishment for inappropriate behavior, realizing, in retrospect, that his parents have treated him fairly, setting limits to help him develop as a person. Emunah is how my daughter will look at an imposed consequence for leaving a messy room, understanding that her parents want to inculcate in her positive personality traits.

Emunah helps us deal with the past. To come to terms with the difficulties and failures, hardships and the blows, that life showers on us.

It is the faith in knowing it was all for the best. That for some reason beyond our comprehension it had to be this way.

But Bitachon assists us with the present and the future.

It is my uncalculated trust, the warmth all around me, right now, at this moment, because You are with me.

It is the confidence that You will provide only good things for me in the future because You are the ultimate source of good.

It is jumping from the cliff, while knowing that the landing will be soft, because Your arms will be carrying me.

It is the certitude that You will chase away all of life's monsters. That you are there with me in each and every new venture.

While Emunah confronts the pain of my past falls, Bitachon is the confidence that enables me to attempt to take that next step forward.

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
Illustration by Yudit Blesofsky
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Discussion (7)
May 17, 2012
Beautifully written!!
Anonymous
Baltimore
March 19, 2005
Excellent! Thanks for the insights
Eduardo Marcus
Hayward, Ca/USA
March 19, 2005
Bitachon -Reflectons on Trustby Chana Weisberg
Your "Reflections on Trust" is one of the most touching, clear and inspiring essays I have read - connecting the obvious love and trust of you as parent to deep insights into the love we receive from God.

The gift doesn't stop there - you take us to forward to Trust in the future...
I am very grateful for your writing.
Anonymous
S.Hadley, MA/USA
March 17, 2005
bitachon emunah
Doesn't Emunah contradict Bitachon?
If everything that happened can be 'spun' to 'be for the best', why be sure that I will have a soft landing? I can very well have a hard landing and be explained that it's for the best....
No?
avilevy
bklyn, ny
March 17, 2005
Your article is exactly what I needed to hear today, thank you so much!
Rebecca
Sydney, Australia
March 16, 2005
Your articles are fantastic. Hope many people read them, as one learns a lot. I make sure I cover your articles weekly.
Ezra Solomon
March 14, 2005
Thanks for the article
I really like the way you expressed those concepts, keep writing, please...
Leon Bialikamien
San José, Costa Rica
chabadcostarica.com
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