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The Duties of the Heart

Gate Four: "On Trusting G-d"

Introduction, Part 2

Last time we cited just some of the advantages to learning to trust G-d's judgment. We'll concentrate now on others. Again the key lies in our assuming that G-d's decisions are always for the good -- whether we know it or not -- and in seeing that trusting G-d frees us up from many burdens.

Ibn Pakudah points out that if you're well-to-do or at least comfortable and you trust G-d, you'd be free to give a lot of charity and to spend your money for other holy purposes if you trusted in G-d. You'd see your wealth as a temporary reserve G-d has entrusted you with. And you'd thank G-d for it all the time as well as for the enviable role He'd placed you in, rather than grow arrogant.

You wouldn't need to remind people of your wealth, or expect others to be grateful or complimentary to you for your generosity. You'd never covet anyone else's good fortune. And should you lose your money, you'd do it with aplomb, knowing full well that G-d's decision was right then, too, and that -- as you'd come to know all along -- your fortune was G-d's to give or take back.

On the other hand, if you're poor, you'd be free to consider poverty something of a gift, simply because not having a lot of money exempts you from many concerns that distract others from their pursuit of spiritual excellence.

One who trusts G-d enjoys the peace of mind and well being that comes from not having to push himself to his physical and emotional limits; he doesn't have to cow-tow to G-d's underlings; and he's satisfied with an easy-enough, unglamorous profession that nonetheless allows him enough leisure time to reflect upon things and to fulfill his spiritual obligations.

Such a person would have few professional cares. For even if his products don't do well, or he can't recoup funds due him, or he becomes too ill to work, he knows that G-d alone is in control of his circumstances, not he. He knows as well that G-d is far, far better at deciding what's in his best interests than he himself is. And he's at peace with everything -- even things that go against his grain -- simply because he trusts that G-d would only do what's best for him.

So at bottom, trusting G-d's judgments frees us from worldly cares, it allows us the tranquility that comes from wanting less, and it fosters the sense of security, assurity, and tranquility we all long for but try to find in less-than-G-dly ways.

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