Eighty percent of our emunah
problems, and ninety percent of our questions on HASHEM
stem from one mistake-we play G-d. Playing G-d means I
know exactly what I need. I need to marry that
woman. I need that job. I need my child to get
into that school. I've talked to HASHEM about
it. I've explained it Him. I've even brokered deals
with Him: "If You grant me this, I'll ...". Yet for some
reason He just won't listen.
"HASHEM, what's the deal? Are you
angry with me? Are You punishing me? Why do You insist
in making my life so difficult? This is what I need.
It's so clear. It's so obvious. Why won't you just grant
And I go on asking questions. "It's
not fair. It doesn't make sense! HASHEM, what do you
want from me?"
The problem here is quite simple - I
am playing G-d. Playing G-d means, I know exactly what I
need, and now I have figure out how to get HASHEM to
understand that. And, the simple reality that maybe,
just maybe, this isn't good for me, never seems to
cross my mind.
The strange part of this is that I
have lived through situations that didn't exactly turn
out as I thought they would. I absolutely had to have
that job; it was just what I needed. I could earn a
living, support my family, and still have time to learn.
It was the perfect fit. In the end, I didn't get that
job, and I had major questions. "HASHEM, why?! Why
aren't you there for me?" Then five years later, I find
out that the entire industry is being shipped over to
Another time, my son absolutely,
positively had to get into that class; it was just right
for him. Great rebbe, good atmosphere - it was perfect
for him. And the Menahel, wouldn't let him in. "HASHEM
why? Where are you?" Then, two months later, I find out
that there's a child in that class, who would have been
the worst possible influence on my son. IT would have
been devastating. Hmm...
I tried to marry that woman. She was
perfect. Great match, good family, she would make a
fantastic wife and mother for my children. And it didn't
go. "HASHEM why have you abandoned me? This is what I
need!" She married someone else, and two years later, I
find out that term "mentally instable" is a mild
description of her situation. Mmmmm....
Part of human
And, we do this all the time. We act
as if we truly know what it is that is best for us. We
run after it. We hotly pursue it. "No obstacle will get
in my way. Nothing will prevent this from coming about."
And when lo and behold my efforts are thwarted-the
questions begin. "But, why? It's not fair. I am a good
person. HASHEM, why won't You just help me?"
The problem here is quite simple; we
are playing G-d. We act as if we know exactly what we
need; we try to convince HASHEM to give it to us. And
when it doesn't go-the questions start.
And while it's easy to see the folly
of this when other people do it, when it happens in my
world, in my life then the real challenge begins. To
break out of this, we need to change two perspectives.
The first one is easy to grasp. The second one is far
Perspective #1 -
HASHEM loves me
The first perspective is that HASHEM
loves me, more than I love me. HASHEM is more concerned
for my good than I am. And, HASHEM has my best interests
at heart, to an even greater extent than I do.
While this concept may sound lofty,
it isn't that far removed from us. To see it in action,
all you have to do is study your life. Look back on the
strange twists and turns of fate that brought you to
where you are today. Every Jew has a story. "I met that
person, who just happened to mention..." "I ended up in
that that course, where it just so happened that...."
When you look back on the events
that have shaped your life, you see the hand of HASHEM.
You see HASHEM orchestrating occurrences that shaped
your life. And now in hindsight, you see that HASHEM
was taking care of you, guiding you, leading you. While
you were living through it, it looked "bad", it appeared
that HASHEM didn't care, However, after the fact,
you understand that it was done out of love, and concern
for your ultimate good.
HASHEM knows better
However, knowing that HASHEM loves me
is the easy part. The second concept, which is far more
difficult, is knowing that HASHEM knows better than I
what is best for me. And understanding that HASHEM
knows better than me what it is that I need.
HASHEM created the heavens and all
that it contains. He wrote the formulas for quantum
physics and molecular biology. He views the entire
universe with one glance. He sees the future as the
past. And He has the wisdom to see far reaching results.
What will this bring to ten years from now? What will
the consequences be twenty years from now?
I, on the other hand... I see about
two inches in front of my face. I can't remember what I
had for breakfast this morning. I make mistakes. I
blunder. I get confused and caught up. As much as I
think I know, I am often wrong. That which I think will
be so good for me, is so often just the opposite. And, I
forget. I forget lessons, I forget facts. I forget
results and I forget consequences.
HASHEM doesn't. HASHEM remembers
every event since creation. And HASHEM made me. He is
my Creator, and he knows me even better than I do. He
understands me better than I do. And so, HASHEM
understands what I need, better than I do.
While this may sound obvious, it is
-until it comes to the thick and thin of life. In the
busyness of doing, and going, and accomplishing,
this simple reality fades from my sight. I need that. I
must have this. I have to accomplish that. And, when I
face the brick wall blocking my path - I push on,
bucking against everything in front of me. And I ask
questions: "HASHEM, where are you? Why aren't you
The idea that maybe, just maybe
HASHEM is telling me something. Maybe HASHEM is saying
no - never seems to cross my mind. Maybe it's not going,
because it's not supposed to go. Maybe HASHEM
knows better than I what is for my best. "Hmmmm....
Never thought about that."
Putting it into
When I fully embrace these two ideas,
that HASHEM loves me more than I love me, and that
HASHEM knows better than I what is best for me, I
approach life differently. I still try. I still put in
my effort. I use my wisdom, reach decisions, and then
pursue them-but now it's different.
I have my part. And, HASHEM has His.
My role is to go through the motions; HASHEM is
responsible for the outcome. And, if I try and it
doesn't go, I try again and it doesn't go, I don't kick.
I accept. When opportunities don't present themselves
despite my best efforts, I turn my eyes to heaven and
say, HASHEM you know best. I trust in You.
And finally I understand life, and my
place in it. I am the creation, and HASHEM You are my
Creator. I am but an actor on the stage, I have my part
to play, You direct the play, and You alone write the
script. I know that you love me and take care of me. My
job is to do; and You take care of the rest.