The Power of Positive Thinking

December 23, 2018 at 2:52 AM , ,

“…Moshe became frightened and said, “indeed, the matter has become known.” Pharaoh heard of this incident, and he sought to slay Moshe; and Moshe fled from before Pharaoh…” – Shemot 2:14-15

וַיִּירָא משֶׁה וַיֹּאמַר אָכֵן נוֹדַע הַדָּבָר: וַיִּשְׁמַע פַּרְעֹה אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיְבַקֵּשׁ לַהֲרֹג אֶת משֶׁה וַיִּבְרַח משֶׁה מִפְּנֵי פַרְעֹה – שמות ב, יד-טו

The Torah relates that when Moshe discovered that people knew he had killed an Egyptian taskmaster, he became fearful for his future. Indeed, Pharaoh learned of the episode shortly thereafter and sought to have Moshe killed.

With this episode, the Torah hints to the extraordinary power of bitachoncomplete trust in G-d’s goodness and grace.

To have Bitachon means not only to believe that since G-d orchestrates every detail of existence at every moment, therefore whatever happens to you will certainly be for the very best. Rather, to have Bitachon means to trust that G-d will grant you goodness in the most obvious sense of the word.

How can you be confident that G-d will indeed bless you with revealed good? Does the Torah not promise to reward those who are worthy and to punish those who are not?

The answer is that regarding bitachon we read in Tehilim (32:10), “he who trusts in G-d, kindness will encompass him;” meaning, “even if one is not worthy on his own accord, Bitachon draws down gratuitous kindness [from Above] upon he who trusts in G-d” (Sefer Haikkarim 4:46). Why? Because the merit of his fervent Bitachon alone makes a person worthy of G-d’s blessings.

Thus, if a person genuinely trusts that he is in G-d’s good hands (and therefore not subject to natural limitations at all), then he can be certain that G-d will guard him and provide for him in a revealed way—even if he is not necessarily worthy of this otherwise. To paraphrase the Tzemach Tzedek’s famous advice, “if you think positively, the future will be positive.”

The Torah alludes to this principle of Bitachon by telling us about Moshe’s worries, which preceded the actual threat to his life. Considering the Torah’s usual conciseness, the fact that the Torah makes special note of Moshe’s uneasiness even before Pharaoh sought to execute him, suggests that Moshe’s fear actually contributed to the outcome that followed. Had Moshe not been frightened, the threat to his life would have never come about.

—Likkutei Sichos, vol. 36, pp. 1-6

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