26 Av 5781 / Wednesday, August 04, 2021 | Torah Reading: Re'eh
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You Gotta Have Faith    

You Gotta Have Faith

Sara is terrified to be alone. She is afraid to get a job, afraid to leave her bad marriage and afraid to come out from the cocoon of junk food and movies…


Everyone has a need for security but some people will go to any lengths to feel it. Rather than putting their faith in God and making the effort to be self-sufficient, they may attempt to find security through amassing money or getting into relationships that can never be healthy.


Anyone who makes another human being his security blanket is bound to end up very insecure.


“Do not rely on a human being for he holds no salvation.” (Psalm #146)


I have a client named Sara who has been married for twenty-five years to a man she does not love. He is verbally abusive, addicted to the internet and never shows her affection.


Sara is miserable but despite many years telling everyone she wants out of her marriage, Sara doesn't leave. Why is that?


Sara met her husband when she was in her thirties. She felt desperate by then and overlooked the fact that even then he seemed lukewarm about their relationship. She threatened to leave him if he didn't marry her and so he did and soon Sara had a son, much to her delight and relief. Ever since her parents’ divorce, a family of her own was all she ever wanted. Sara was looking for the safety she had lost as a young girl. She promptly quit her secretarial job to care for the new baby and soon had a second child. For the next twenty-three years Sara kept busy taking care of her kids. She never went back to work or developed any interests other than her kids’ lives.


Sara's kids are grown now and no longer live at home. Her marriage has deteriorated to the level where she and her husband lead separate lives. Her husband has tried repeatedly to get Sara to help out with the bills by going back to work but she can't seem to get motivated to find a job. He resents taking care of all her needs and has made it clear he would like to enjoy a future without her.


And yet, Sara refuses to make a move to help herself. She spends most of her time figuring out ways to “be there” for her kids, watch TV and eat compulsively. What is going on? She says she wants to end the marriage but is making very little progress in preparing for such a move. Sara is also afraid to have a frank talk with her husband about their relationship.


Sara is terrified to be alone. She is afraid to get a job, afraid to leave her bad marriage and afraid to come out from the cocoon of junk food and movies. She does not want to leave her comfort zone, as uncomfortable as it may be. As the saying goes, “It may be hell but it’s familiar.”


When we have faith in God we know that there is no human being who can save us from the challenges in life. In Sara's case the person who was supposed to provide her with emotional and financial security doesn't want to give her anything anymore. But Sara accepts that because she doesn't want to take responsibility for her own life and despite being religious, she does not really believe that Hashem will help her get real. There is a well-known spiritual mechanism that works like this: Whatever we put our faith in, God will leave us to it. You want to delude yourself into thinking it is your money, your looks, your spouse, your job, your reputation, your physical fitness or your kids that guarantee your security and emotional safety? If that's the case, you will eventually be left with empty hands. All of those things can be taken away and nothing ever stays the same.


When we rely on Hashem to help us face our problems, He will help us in the ways only the Creator of the Universe can do. The world and everything in it are under His control.


If Sara would place her trust in God she would see miracles. If Sara would have faith in God and in herself she would be able to get out of a degrading and stifling predicament. But she has to want to believe.


Hashem takes us wherever we want to go. If we understand that Hashem is the only One who can take us out of a self-imposed Egypt, that it is He who feeds us and cares for us as we make our way towards personal redemption, He surely will. “I will answer them on the day they call.



* * *

Rebbitzen Yehudit Channen is a certified Emuna Therapist for Breslev Israel. You can set up an appointment with her by contacting staff@breslev.co.il

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