Oseh shamayim va’aretz, es ha’yam v’es kol asher bam, ha’shomer emes l’olam
He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, Who safeguards truth forever.
There is a pasuk in T’hilim that we say often and should say even more often than we do: “Hodu LaShem ki tov, ki l’olam chasdo – Thank You to Hashem for He is good, because His chesed is l’olam.” The word “olam” has a double meaning. It means that Hashem in His goodness is constantly providing us with His kindness, and it means that His kindness is forever, eternal.
In our pasuk, David HaMelech explains why we will be fortunate, happy, and praiseworthy (“Ashrei”) if we place our hope in Hashem exclusively. Hashem is creating (present tense) the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in each of them, and He alone safeguards truth forever. Continuing the contrast in this perek of T’hilim and P’sukei D’Zimrah between relying on man and relying exclusively on Hashem, we see two major differences.
First, Hashem is All-Powerful. He created and continues to recreate the entire Universe. Therefore, any physical, emotional, financial, relational, or other need or desire we are seeking can be granted by Hashem, regardless of how difficult or “impossible” it may seem to us. Hashem created and recreates constantly the entire Universe from absolute nothingness, so He can certainly provide whatever we are seeking and hoping for. Man, on the other hand, can achieve absolutely nothing without Hashem granting success.
Second, Hashem is constantly bestowing kindness, now and forever. Every breath we take, every dollar we make, every cake we bake, comes only from Hashem’s infinite kindness. Our eternal bliss in the Next World will also result only as a result of Hashem’s chesed. Man, on the other hand, with the best of intentions, cannot guarantee success of any kindness he wishes to bestow. Man’s best intentions can only succeed if Hashem blesses him with success. Man is also only in this world temporarily and can never guarantee that he will be able to complete any chesed he begins. Only Hashem is eternal and only He can guarantee completion of any chesed.
The Midrash in T’hilim on this pasuk and the last one writes that Hashem states: If you know that the One you rely upon created and recreates the heaven and earth and (know that) just as the heaven and earth have not moved from their places, so, too, one who places his trust and reliance in Me, his reward will never cease.
HaRav Elimelech Biderman, in his Torah Wellsprings, quotes the Sefer HaIkarim (4:49): “Having bitachon, trust, in Hashem is greater than all praises that one can say to Hashem Yisbarach.”
We have previously quoted the Vilna Gaon who writes that the “ikar n’sinas HaTorah” – the primary reason for the giving of the Torah – was so that we should place our bitachon in Hashem. The question is raised as to how the Gaon can make that statement in light of the fact that the Rambam, Chovos HaL’vavos, Sefer HaIkarim, and other Rishonim write that ahavas Hashem, loving Hashem, is the purpose of all Torah and mitzvos. The answer is that there is no contradiction, because bitachon is actually the highest level of ahavas Hashem. When we can accept all that Hashem sends our way in our lives with love and with simchah, knowing that Hashem loves us more than any human, and knows exactly what is best for us, that is the pinnacle of loving Hashem. [based on HaRav David Steinhaus, rosh yeshivah, and author of Sefer Shaarei Ahavah, an over-400-page sefer on the mitzvah of Ahavas Hashem]
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