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In The Shade of Faith

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

The underlying happiness during Sukkot is that we celebrate our emunah (faith) and bitachon (trust) in Hashem. The holiday of Sukkot reenacts the period when G-d took the Jews out of Egypt and sustained them in the desert.[1] The Zohar, the central Kabbalistic work, describes sitting in the sukkah as sitting in the shade of emunah (faith). Specifically, “the belief that shields us is the trust in Hashem’s eternal direct supervision of each and every one of us and His continuous, constant love and care for His people.”[2]

What do faith and trust in G-d mean? Emunah is faithfulness to what we know to be true. There is no “blind faith” in Judaism. Once the intellect has discerned the objective reality, that there is a G-d, then the heart must align with this knowledge as expressed through our actions. Yet the Nesivos Sholom, a great Rabbi from the previous generation, teaches that faith, knowledge of G-d, is not complete without bitachon, trust. Specifically, he says we must trust that Hashem loves and is involved in the life of every Jew regardless of that Jew’s actions. “Once we trust that Hashem is always connected to us and always involved in our life, Hashem will reciprocate by maximizing His hashgacha (oversight) of our life.”[3] The more we trust that Hashem is with us, the more He will be with us.

Resource Suggestion:

  1. Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz, In The Shadow Of Faith (An awesome audio class that looks at these ideas more in depth.)

Book & App Suggestion:

  1. Living Emunah (Rabbi David Ashear has a large following (including me!) who listen to his daily five-minute audio talks on Faith and Divine Providence.  Some of his best talks have been compiled into this book, which has amazing story after story illustrating how Hashem is intimately involved in our lives. You can hear the daily audio talk in the free Power of Speech App.)

[1] Vayikra 23:43

[2] Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg, Gems From The Nesivos Sholom, Sukkot and Simchat Torah, Introduction, p. 14-15.

[3] Id. at 16.

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