Rebbetzin Feldbrand fans, rejoice! And all you others out there who aren’t familiar with this beloved author’s style, listen up! Bitachon, Rebbetzin Feldbrand’s ninth book, has just been released.
Bitachon is filled to the brim with all sorts of practical strategies to help you acquire just that—bitachon in Hashem. You’ll love the stories and real-life examples that the author brings, which are all extremely helpful in modeling how one goes about acquiring this vital middah.
As we go through life, we see more and more how essential it is to have bitachon. Whether regarding getting a good mark on your Chumash test (if you’re a kid), or coming up with the money to pay the rent or mortgage each month (if you’re an adult), it’s clear that the happenings in our lives are not in our control. So why bother worrying about anything at all? Let’s all just—as the saying goes—“let go and let G-d!” With Hashem as our Driver, we’re in the best hands possible—so why not just trust His driving skills and sense of direction?
With Bitachon as your guidebook, you’ll learn exactly how to do so—and how absolutely amazing the dividends of it are!
Here’s an excerpt:
NEVER GIVE UP HOPE
There are certain factors which lead to despair. When a person is overwhelmed with suffering, he finds it difficult to believe that salvation is at hand. When a person requires something that would require a miracle, like having a disease disappear or acquiring something beyond his reach, he should still daven to Hashem to save him. Knowing that one has sinned should not prevent the individual from turning to Hashem. A person should never give up hope (Yefas Toar).
At one point in his illustrious career, Rav Moshe Sherer stood up to the powers that be who were determined to pass a bill that would have harmed observant Jews throughout the United States. The members of Congress and the president were determined to see that their amendment was ratified into law, but Rav Moshe used all the connections at his disposal to prevent that law from being passed.
After that historic victory, a member of Agudas Yisroel asked Reb Moshe how he managed to stand up to such opposition and triumph over them. Reb Moshe attributed his perseverance to his mother.
When he was a child and burning with high temperature, his mother ran to call the doctor. He wrote out a prescription to be taken to the pharmacy immediately, but Reb Moshe’s mother had no money to pay for the medicine. To her relief, she unearthed a few pennies and hurried to the pharmacy, determined to get that medicine. The pharmacist was out but his assistant agreed to give her the medicine in exchange for the paltry amount she presented him.
Clutching the precious bottle in her hands, Reb Moshe’s mother hurried home. To her horror, she tripped and fell, and the bottle of medicine broke into smithereens. Crying, she reached down to retrieve the sodden label and rushed back to the pharmacy.
This time the pharmacist was there. Reb Moshe’s mother offered to come and clean the pharmacy to pay for the medication. She handed him the label, and he took a whiff of its contents. The pharmacist told Mrs. Sherer, “Guardian angels were watching over this child. If he had taken the medication my assistant gave you by mistake, who knows what would have happened to him.”
Reb Moshe’s mother would often repeat this story, adding, “When I fell and that precious bottle broke, I thought it was the end of the world. I learned an important lesson that day: Often what appears to be the end of the world is the beginning of salvation.” Her lesson has always accompanied me. I have seen how failures are steppingstones to good. I therefore never give up in any situation (Asara Nisyonos, pages 71-72).
“Trust in Hashem at all times” (Tehillim 62) means that when that knife is drawn against his throat and there is to escape, he must trust in Hashem to provide a way out (Kad HaKemach).
The Brisker Rav tries to help us see the embodiment of this concept in our mind’s eye. Try to visualize a condemned person being taken out to be executed. He has gone through a long, drawn-out trial. Knowing his life was at stake, he hired the best lawyers to defend him, but ultimately he was declared guilty and condemned to death. The defense tried to appeal the verdict. They shepherded the case through the judicial system from one court to another garnering more witnesses along the way.
Nothing — not his connections in the government, not the numerous appeals by his expensive lawyers, nor the prayers of the community succeed in staving off his conviction. Although they pulled as many strings as they could to gain access to the powers that be and secure clemency for the condemned man, all their efforts came to naught.
The King was not moved by the description of the man’s sick wife, his tender children and aged parents. He gave orders that the man be put to death immediately. The prisoner is removed from his cell and brought outside and tied down. The executioner stands ready with his sharp sword drawn. He lifts his arm and brings the sword close to the prisoner’s neck. It is at this point we are told, ”Even when a sharp sword is poised at your neck do not give up hope.” Even then you must keep on davening (Introduction to Nes HaHatzalah).
The father of the Chacham Tzvi was literally saved from a drawn sword. Like the others taken prisoner during the terrible Cossack uprising of 1649, he was condemned to death. When he reached the Cossack who was decapitating one Jew after another, the murderer declared, ”You are so young,” and he flipped his sword around and knocked him onto the pile of bodies with the blunt side of his knife. When night fell he climbed out form the awful heap and hid until the danger had passed (Toldos Rebbe Tzvi Hirsch Ashkenazi, Chapter One).