37. Paying the Premiums

Imagine there are two neighbors and one woman says to the other you know, my husband bought insurance because he’s concerned if he leaves this earth who is going to take care of me. And every month he pays a premium, year after year, decade after decade. Nebach (unfortunately), it happens that her husband dies and in fact she collects a very substantial death benefit and she is taken care of in her widowhood. A few months later, her neighbor, who had that conversation many years earlier with her, her husband also dies, and she goes to the insurance company to also collect her death benefits. But the insurance agent says I’m sorry, ma’am, but your husband never paid the premium; he never took out a policy. Well, my neighbor collected a huge benefit. Yeah, but that’s because her husband paid the premium every month.

And I believe that that’s an apt parable for life. People come to crises in their life. Oy vey, where’s my bitachon (trust)? You can’t learn bitachon in a moment of crisis. If you pay the premium, if you spend your life year after year studying Hashem, seeing Hashem actively involved in your life, if you learn to trust in Hashem, then when a crisis happens the premiums are there, you trust in Hashem, you rely on Hashem, there’s a sense of calm and equanimity. Because you spent many, many years growing in bitachon. But if you don’t pay the premiums you can’t learn bitachon when you’re in a crisis situation. When you lose your job, when you’re sick, when someone nebach leaves this earth, that’s not the time to study how Hashem runs the world. You’re supposed to spend years and years ahead of time growing in bitachon, seeing Hashem, and then when a crisis happens you understand and you’re ready. You understand that Hashem is there and you trust in Hashem implicitly.