Without a Doubt
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| Published: June 04, 2021
One of the greatest enemies of our time, if not enemy #1 is “doubt.” Should I marry this person? Is this the right job for me? Am I voting for the right candidate? Should I take the vaccine? Do I really need this surgery? And the list of queries goes on and on. Who knows the correct answers? How can I navigate my way through this world with confidence and humility and hope to make the meaningful personal choices for the tests which confront me daily? That is one of the reasons that “emunah,” belief, plays such an important role in our daily lives. True, I can’t unequivocally prove to you the existence of God and His presence in everything that happens in this world, but when looking at the world with the eyes of my soul, “emunah” is the most life affirming trait that is accessible to me all day and night.
“There is no “simcha,” joy like the removal of doubt from one’s life.” The light of our eyes brings joy to the heart and listening to goodness grows strength”(Proverbs 15.30). The commentary “Metzudat David” explains that this light , when used in cases of doubt, will bring joy to the heart, because there is no happiness like the removal of doubt. This teaching of King Solomon implies that the antidote for doubt is “light.” “Ohr zarua la’tzadik ul’yishrei lev simchah,”( Psalms 97.11)Light is seeded in the Tzadik and the straight of heart have happiness. Harav Kook in his teaching about this verse which we sing on Friday night’s in Kabbalat Shabbat, The Friday night service, says that light increases “simchah” in the nature of our soul. As is written in Megilat Esther, “…ora v’simchah ( Esther 8.16).As such, the pleasantness of “simcha” sits in the explicit purpose of happiness in our lives, while the light is the means by which to access that joy. Our desire to connect with Hashem helps us spiritually purify our hearts. As Rav Nachman Bar Yitzchak notes, the straight receive happiness, as is written, “and the straight of heart have happiness.( Tractate Ta’anit 15a). The Torah which God gave us is the tool which brings us the light that we can then utilize to push out darkness, a.k.a. doubt.
What seemed to be the greatest area of trouble for the “meraglim,” the spies sent by Moshe Rabenu to canvas The Land of Israel? Doubt! These leaders doubted that the nation of Israel would be fully protected by Hashem in their new homeland. What were they missing in their thought process? They were unwilling to see that Eretz Yisrael had a basis of existence that was beyond nature. They were sent by Moshe on a spiritual search quest and instead, only explored the physical elements present in The Land. The Slonimer Rebbe explains that they were sent to assess the dark side that they would be faced with when entering The Land. They needed to learn that Hashem was teaching us that by accepting and using the great spiritual supernatural powers of His Land, we could rise above and defeat the dark side’s power. Nothing to be afraid of, no one to fear.
Without this spiritual foundation they were totally insecure and scared. They canvassed the land and it’s inhabitants and which was the first nation whom they encountered? (Bamidbar 13.29). Amalek, the absolute root of doubt. Amalek, the one who attacked us for no reason other than to cast doubt on our faith and commitment to Hashem, who saved us from the hands of slavery in Mitzraim. Amalek, whose numerical value, 240 is the exact same numerical value as the Hebrew word, “safek,” doubt. Amalek and doubt , one and the same. When the “meraglim” came back to report to the people they said there were giants living there and when we saw them,”…we were, in our own eyes, like grasshoppers and so we were in their eyes” (Bamidbar 13.33).They were not able to root into their hearts the reality of the holiness of The Land and the belief that even though there would no longer be “ananei hakavod,” clouds of glory leading them, they would still have the total supernatural protection and guidance of their Creator in His Land.
Insecurity plays such a major role in the lives of so many of us. The only answer is to do the opposite and invest daily in knowing how important each and every one of us is to this world. I am not talking about simply patting myself on the back for all that I think I have accomplished on my own. Chas v’shalom! “Lo b’kochi u’votzem yadi,” my success does not lie in my personal physical potential or strength of my own hands. I am speaking of true humble self security knowing that I am doing my best to make decisions which I hope will resonate with the will of Hashem. In my search to connect daily with Hashem I need to find the light which will continuously lead me in that direction. When I let doubt get in the way I am simply inviting the dark side to take over my life. Simple as that! Here it comes. “You aren’t good enough to accomplish that! That person doesn’t deserve your respect! You don’t have the clarity to make that decision! And that list also goes on and on.
This scenario is still very much alive and present in Eretz Yisrael today. The gift which we have been blessed to receive, this supernatural holiness of The Land, still exists to this day in Eretz Yisrael. We have the blessing to see it revealed daily. So in a sense we are the present day “meraglim” and the choice is clearly ours to make. It is in our hands to do the fixing of the sin of the “meraglim,” each of us in the way that he or she knows best to fix themselves. If I choose to believe in the love and support that Hashem has for us, than I choose to believe that indeed I can do whatever it is that I need to do right here nad now; for Hashem, for the “klal” and for myself and I can do it “b’simchah,” with joy. No way to doubt that.