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Belief is what creates reality. Belief determines a successful outcome. If you believe in yourself, you will succeed.
Translated from Rabbi Arush’s feature article in the weekly Chut shel Chessed newsletter. The articles focus on his main message: “Loving others as yourself”.
The two candidates who were interviewed for the important job were excellent and suitable for it. Both of them had the right training and education, much experience, an impressive CV and good skills. But the interviewer, an experienced personnel manager, did not have to debate between the two. He knew clearly whom he would choose.
In the conversation, among many questions, he had planted one of the most significant questions for him. He wanted to know to what extent the candidate believed in his ability to perform his job well. The first candidate expressed unequivocal confidence, while his peer hoped and expected, but was not unequivocal on the topic.
This answer decided the issue. The interviewer knew for sure that the second one would not succeed in his work. A person cannot succeed if he doesn’t believe in himself. Belief is what creates reality. It is what determines the success. If you believe in yourself, you will succeed. If you don’t believe in yourself, no talents or training or experience, nor even past successes, will do the trick.
The first candidate was, indeed, hired.
Why Are You Going?
Many ask me: Rabbi, how can you say that Hashem will do only good and more good for us? After all, we see that, practically speaking, bad things do happen. That’s reality.
So, let’s learn together a paragraph from the book Likutei Moharan – a short paragraph, but one that is wondrous and very basic. About the posuk that opens Parshat Maasei, “These are the travels of B’nei Yisrael,” Rabbi Nachman says, based on the midrash, that the word Eileh – these – hints to the Sin of the Golden Calf, about which the people said, “Eileh – these are your elohim (gods), Yisrael.” The Torah is hinting to us that the travels of B’nei Yisrael were the result of the Sin of the Golden Calf.
Rabbi Nachman explains the broad meaning of this: The travels hint to all the travails that a person goes through in his life. Usually, we are talking about things that are unpleasant, whether physically or emotionally, difficulties in making a living or in interpersonal relationships, marital problems, and problems raising children. And they are all coming to atone for the Sin of the Golden Calf.
But is there anyone of us who makes a Golden Calf? Is there avoda zara (idol worship) these days? Rabbi Nachman explains, based on his great-grandfather, the holy Ba’al Shem Tov, that avoda zara is the opposite of belief, and therefore, any blemish in our emuna has an aspect of avoda zara, and is considered to be a blemish of avoda zara, a kind of small, personal “Sin of the Golden Calf”.
It comes out, then, that any suffering in a person’s life is just a result of lack of emuna (faith) and is coming to atone for it and to awaken the person to perfect and repair his emuna.
And when a person perfects his emuna – says Rabbi Nachman – all the bad decrees and divine anger are annulled and rachamim – mercy – takes their place.
How Do You Like Your Rachamim?
Rabbi Nachman asks: But we do believe that everything is for the best. Even when Hashem punishes a person and brings upon him or her troubles and suffering – that, too, is for the good, and that, too, is coming from mercy. In that case, how would the correction of one’s emuna help? After all, before the correction of emuna Hashem acts mercifully towards us, and after the correction as well, so what’s the difference?
Rabbi Nachman gives a basic and wondrous answer: It’s true that everything is rachamim. “Because by Him, yitbarach (May He be praised), it could be that the severe disease and all the suffering are his rachmanut (mercifulness), because certainly everything that Hashem yitbarach does to a person, even severe suffering, everything is just rachmanut.” But this mercy is mercy that we cannot understand – to us it doesn’t look like mercy, and we have to strengthen our emuna that this, too, is for the good, and that everything is hidden rachamim.
But after the emuna is repaired, then “Hashem, yitbarach will give us the rachmanut – he will turn over the rachmanut into our hands”. In other words, Hashem’s mercy will be a mercy we can understand. Simple good, simple and clear mercy: “Rachmanut simply, to be cured of the disease and such like” – material abundance, peace in the home, healthy children, apartments, blessing, joy, emotional healing, knowledge, a desire for Torah and prayer, good friends, a life that smiles at us!
This is Not Just Inspirational Talk-This is Reality
I have explained repeatedly that the emuna that Hashem does only good and wants only good and will do only good to all people – is not a hope, and not an expectation, and not a prayer, but reality. This is the reality. And whoever doesn’t believe in that – there is no greater blemish in emuna than that. This is actually the reason for all the suffering, all the personal “travels” that you experience.
It comes out, that the answer to the question is the exact opposite. You ask about me, how can I say in my classes that Hashem will do only good and more good, if practically speaking bad things happen as well. I answer: the “bad” things that you are talking about as happening – in other words, the things in which the good and the mercy in them are hidden – they happen only because you don’t believe in what I say – i.e., that Hashem has done, does, and will do only good and more good.
If you listen to what I am saying in the name of the tzaddikim, the righteous, in the name of common sense regarding the true emuna – you yourself will cause the mercy to be in your hands, in other words, Hashem will have mercy on you and your family – plain, manifest rachamim.
It comes out that “Emuna creates reality” is not only a slogan, not only an inspiring sentence that is uttered to improve one’s mood. This is absolute truth; this is the way that Hashem runs human beings and the world.
An Ancient Question
And, really, the question, “How can you say that only good things will happen?” – is not a difficult one for me; it was difficult for David HaMelech already. David HaMelech said, “Only good and kindness will pursue me all my life”. You might ask: “How can you be so sure? All my life? Only good and kindness? Without anything bad? How can you say such a thing?
But David HaMelech, who was a pillar of pure emuna, and who believed in Hashem in all situations, even when he was running away from Avshalom, his son, and even when he was running away from Shaul in the cave and in times of troubles and sadness – only praised Hashem. He never had any doubt that Hashem was good; he always felt that Hashem was loving Father and that he was like a suckling child at his mother’s side. Therefore he could announce unequivocally: Only good and kindness will pursue me all my life!
My dear Jews, I would like to open an “employment agency” that will supply work for the entire Jewish people, and I don’t mean positions and tenures. Everything you do in life, whether you are a simple laborer or a director-general, or a doctor, whether you are an employee or self-employed – I have work to offer you.
You should know that any work or career in your life is only secondary. Your main work is emuna.
In the language of Chazal, any work for pay is called umanut (skill), as it says, “A person should always teach his son a clean and easy umanut.” This hints to emuna, which is your main “umanut” in this world.
When we reach zero unemployment in emuna, in other words, when all the Jews will work in emuna as their main occupation – it doesn’t matter what your work is and what your profession is – I promise you that no one will lack sustenance, and not only sustenance, but no one will lack anything, because the complete Geula will come.
“Jerusalem was destroyed only because there was a dearth of people of amana.” When you hold the emuna that Hashem is good, and does only good, and will always do you only good and more good – you bring back the emuna to Jerusalem, to the land of Israel, and you build Jerusalem. “Don’t say ‘Your children’, but, rather ‘Your builders.’”