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Rosh Hashanah 26

ROSH HASHANAH 26, 27 - sponsored by Reb Wolf Rosengarten of Zurich, in honor of Rav Moshe Soloveitchik Zt'l and the dedicated students of the Yeshiva he established in Moscow.


AGADAH: The Gemara tells how the Rabanan did not know the meaning of the word "Yehavcha" in the phrase "Throw 'Yehavcha' on Hashem," until an Arab nomad told Raba Bar Bar Chana take your "Yehav" (burden) and throw it on my camel. At that point they learned that "Yehavcha" means "your burden."

The Vilna Gaon (cited by Rav Mendel of Shklov, in Mishlei 3:5) asks, how can an Arab wanderer have been better acquainted with Lashon ha'Kodesh than the Amora'im of his time?

The Gaon answers that the students knew what the word Yehavcha meant. Their uncertainty about the meaning of this verse, though, arose from a doubt about a basic concept in Avodas Hashem. The students were not sure how far the trait of "Bitachon," full trust in Hashem, can be taken. Is one supposed to make an effort to support himself and then trust that Hashem will cause his effort to bear fruit? Or is the optimal expression of Bitachon for a person to make absolutely no effort to support himself on his own, putting his efforts instead into serving Hashem and trusting that Hashem will supply him with all his earthly needs?

The word "Yehav" in the verse under discussion comes from the word "Yahav," the Aramaic rendering of "Nasan" (implying *giving*). The students, thinking that the former type of Bitachon is the proper one, did not understand why that word is used in this verse. It should not say "Throw upon Hashem what you *give*," but rather "throw upon Hashem what you *need*" (Tzorchecha).

However, from the story of Raba bar bar Chana and the Arab, it became clear that the latter approach to Bitachon is the correct one. Raba should have had to *pay* the Arab to carry his burden for him, yet instead the Arab suggested of his own volition that Raba throw his burden on the Arab's camel. We see that Hashem provides for all the needs of those that trust in him without waiting for them to invest their own effort into their needs. Even though it was *Raba* who should have asked, and even paid, the Arab to carry his burden, and not vice versa, nevertheless the Arab asked Raba to allow him to carry the burden. If so, said the students, that is why the verse uses the word "Yehavcha." It means, "throw upon Hashem even those things which you should rightfully have to *give* [money, or effort] in order, to accomplish." Let Hashem take over, and do not put in any effort yourself. (See also Divrei Eliyahu, Tehillim 131:2)

The question of the students, incidentally, seems to parallel the debate among the Tana'im in Berachos 36b about how far the trait of Bitachon goes. The Gaon is supporting the opinion Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai, who maintains that Hashem will send someone to provide for one who serves him without any investment of effort on his behalf. (Apparently, even Rebbi Yishmael, who appears to argue with Rebbi Shimon in that Gemara, agrees that for those who are on Rebbi Shimon's spiritual level this type of Bitachon is in order.)

The Gaon there goes further and explains the verse in Mishlei (3:5) that says "trust in Hashem with all your heart (be'Chol Libecha)." The verse means, he explains, reverse the letters of the word "Libecha," making 'your heart' (Libecha - Lamed, Beis, Kaf) 'completely' (ba'Kol - Beis, Kaf, Lamed) dedicated to the service of Hashem. When you do so, Hashem will bless you in return with "ba'Kol" -- all that you could possibly need. Perhaps this is also the implication of the end of the verse our Gemara is discussing. "Throw on Hashem your burden (Yehavcha), and he will provide for you (Yechalkeleka)." "Yechalkel" comes from the word "Kol" -- He will provide for you *all* of your needs, "ba'Kol," since you placed all of your trust in Him.

This may be what the verse means (Bereishis 24:1) when it says that Hashem blessed Avraham "ba'Kol." As the Midrash says, "Avraham had a daughter (= trait) named ba'Kol -- that is, Avraham placed his full, unwavering trust in Hashem, acknowledging that there is no need to put any effort into providing for one's self since Hashem will provide for him. In return, Hashem indeed provided for him all of his needs. This is the Torah's introduction to the story of Eliezer and Rivkah. Why did Avraham send Eliezer and not have Yitzchak himself go to look for a wife? How could he be sure that Eliezer would succeed in finding a proper mate who will agree to marry Yitzchak, sight unseen? The answer is that Avraham knew that Hashem will provide for him all his needs, and his own efforts were superfluous. It was from this expression of Bitachon that Eliezer, the servant, learned to ask Hashem to point out the right girl in a miraculous fashion, rather than researching families etc. until he found the right match. (M. Kornfeld)

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