21. By Nature we Trust

A number of years ago I was out of town at a wedding. It was a beautiful shul (synagogue), and after the wedding, as in most chuppahs (marriage ceremony), many of the fellows rush over to give the chassan (groom) a mazal tov hug. There were a few hundred fellows who came sort of rushing to the chuppah, and because there was no room to move they do what fellows usually do, they do what I call the up and down. While they’re singing they bob up and down, up and down, up and down. And all of the sudden the rav (rabbi) of the shul started running out, stop, stop, stop, grabbing one guy, pushing one guy, stop!

What had happened was, with two hundred guys doing the up and down, up and down, up and down, the floor of the shul was beginning to move up and down as well. The rav, who was involved in building the shul, understood the construction. When they originally built that shul they created concrete pillars. On top of the concrete pillars they laid the steel girders. But because the center of the shul was sort of bending, it could easily be that the actual girder could slide off of the pillar, and the entire floor could come crashing down. The rav stopped the commotion, stopped the people from moving up and down.

Now, when was the last time you walked into a building on the 56th floor and said oh my goodness, the floor, maybe it’s going to cave in, maybe I’ll come crashing down to the basement? We don’t have those fears. We trust. We trust in construction, we trust in certificates of operation, we trust in building inspectors. And we’re very, very trusting.

Explains the Chovos Halevavos, what you begin to understand is a human being by nature trusts. You see, if we didn’t trust we’d be filled with dread, with fear; we wouldn’t be able to operate. Hashem put within our nature a very real instinct to trust in things. We trust in the US economy, we trust in health, we trust in our well being. But explains the Chovos Halevavos, that’s the nature of a human. Once we understand that, we understand it’s much easier for us to learn to trust in Hashem.

Sometimes we feel how could I trust in Hashem, I’m an independent person. I’m the kind of guy who takes care of things on my own. I can’t learn to trust Hashem, because it goes against my nature. Explains the Chovos Halevavos, quite the opposite. Our nature is to trust. If we didn’t trust, we’d be filled with dread, with fear, with trepidations. Hashem created within us a very real need to trust, and the only question is in what do we trust? Do we trust in Hashem or do we trust in other things? But once you understand that your very nature is to trust, it’s much easier to move your trust over from everything else to Hashem, because after a while you begin to understand that only Hashem is really worthy of our trust.