2. Understanding HASHEM’s Role

One of the first steps in finding the balance between our hishtadlus (effort) and bitachon (trust) is understanding Hashem’s role in the picture.

The Sefer Hachinuch says the mitzvah (commandment) of lo sikom (don’t take revenge) — normally we understand don’t take revenge because revenge is a concept of humanistic proportions. Meaning to say, if someone does me a disservice, someone injures me, someone hurts me, if I take revenge it’s going to cause strife, it’s going to cause machlokes (conflict). Don’t take revenge because on a social fabric issue it’s going to lead to bad. Now, while that’s true, the Sefer Hachinuch explains that’s not the ta’am hamitzvah, that’s not the underlying principle that the Torah wants us to understand.

Explains the Sefer Hachinuch the Torah wants us to understand don’t take revenge, why? Because if you take revenge you’re imputing power to man that he doesn’t have. If I take revenge against you, then in my mind’s eye I’m acting as if you caused me harm. Explains the Sefer Hachinuch, I have to understand that no human being can harm me. No human being can cause me pain, no human being can cause me suffering; you cannot touch me.

Don’t take revenge, why? Because the basis of our emunah (belief) system is understanding that no human being can harm me. If I take revenge against you I’m pretending as if you actually can harm me, you actually can hurt me, therefore I’m taking revenge against you. Don’t take revenge because I have to thoroughly understand that every outcome on the planet is directed by Hashem. No human being can hurt me. And that’s the underlying bedrock of our entire emunah system.