On Sunday evening, July 11, Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, former CEO of Agriprocessors, and Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz, publisher and editor of the Yated Ne’eman newspaper, shared an uplifting shiur on behalf of Coach Menachem. Reb Sholom began with explaining the essence of emunah. It is not only belief that Hashem is the Creator. Emunah is belief in Hashem’s unity. It means never feeling alone and realizing that everything that happens is from Hashem. We need to know that there is no strength besides Hashem. Avraham Avinu knew that everything was a test and everything that happened was through Divine providence.
“In one moment, Hashem can create a new situation. Hashem creates the world every moment. He is the Master of miracles. Hashem is the ultimate good. We need to come to actually believe gam zo l’tovah.” The purpose of whatever challenge we are going through is so that we will realize that it is from Hashem. Emunah is the foundation of our faith. We need to have bitachon that Hashem can help us. We have to trust Him to get us out of our troubles.” In any trouble we need to trust that Hashem will get us out of it.” Reb Sholom shared how miraculously he was freed from prison. He was handed a paper that stated that there was no chance of his being freed. He was notified that all systems in the legal system were shut off for him. He shared, “I believed it was up to Hashem, not people, to free me. And the next day Hashem freed me from prison!”
He taught that emunah and bitachon are not passive. They are very active. He realizes that whatever he is looking at is from Hashem and it is good. “Fear is the opposite of emunah, and it can cause problems.” When we look around, it seems that the world is out of control. We see painful things happening. “Our emunah is the strength to take away this external pain.” When you are b’simchah, this overcomes anxiety. When we have emunah in Hashem, then the y’shuah will come.”
Next, Rabbi Lipschutz described how, he when he first met Reb Sholom, he discovered all the things he had read in the media were false. “I saw everything that I was reading in the media was a lie. Rabbi Rubashkin’s plant in Iowa was clean and beautiful and the workers were well-treated. I said that I had to do something to help him.”
Rabbi Lipschutz and Reb Sholom began learning Chovos HaL’vavos together. Reb Sholom loved the chapters of emunah and bitachon and, because of his emunah, Rabbi Lipschutz said, Reb Sholom was freed from jail. Rabbi Lipschutz taught that every one of us possesses natural emunah from Avraham Avinu. It’s in our neshamah. One has to understand that the yeitzer ha’ra is pulling me from the truth. “During the time of a nisayon, it is natural to pull away and be upset. Instead, we need to draw closer to Hashem at this time through Torah and mitzvos, and then we will see the hardship fading.”
After this, Reb Sholom shared that he learned from his father that Hashem never owes you anything. He will pay you back and everything will be fine. He shared that once a man went to Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l and said how sad he was that his friend died. Rav Moshe said, “A Yid should never let anything get him down. Jews are strong. We have Hashem with us all the time.” The more Torah you learn, the better davening and midos you will have and the more hatzlachah you will have. Rabbi Lipschutz added, “We should never despair. Bitachon is our natural state of being. The purpose of a Yid is to be connected to Hashem. When we daven, we should think about how we are connecting to Hashem. When we learn Torah, Hashem is speaking to us.”
Reb Sholom taught that the purpose of a nisayon is to bring out deeper connection to Hashem, and that is how a nisayon goes away. He noted, “I realized when I was in solitary confinement that this was a test from Hashem, and I had to be stronger in my emunah. The next morning, they brought me my tzitzis. Here, I realized that every step was another test.” During the eight years he was in prison, he never missed one day of putting on talis and t’filin. “Hashem wants us to only look to Him for our help, and then He provides for us.”
Reb Sholom elaborated. Bitachon is a process. You have to work to do the ratzon of Hashem. We want Hashem to do what we want, so we have to do what Hashem wants. He shared that, while in prison, every day he had a sense of freedom. “My inner happiness comes from an inner feeling that I am fulfilling my purpose in life. I am not alone. Hashem is with me.”
Hashem loves you and He wants you to tackle this darkness and remain the same Yid. “It’s simple to be free – be yourself. Be a Yid.” He added, “There is only one power, the Eibishter, and He doesn’t want to hurt you. Every time you learn Torah, you strengthen your neshamah. Whatever you are learning and any mitzvos you do, you are connecting to Hashem. He suggested that we find a mitzvah that we don’t want to do and do it. Hashem will see that we are going beyond our limits. We change our nature and Hashem will change the world! He concluded that there is no greater happiness than to make the Eibishter happy.
This inspiring shiur can be found on TorahAnytime.com.
By Susie Garber