Hashem shomer es geirim, yasom v’almanah y’odeid, v’derech r’sha’im y’aveis.
Hashem protects strangers, orphan and widow He encourages, but the way of the wicked He contorts.
In this pasuk, David HaMelech continues his theme of Bitachon. We will focus this segment on the clause, “yasom v’almanah y’odeid (orphan and widow He encourages).”
Rabbi Yossi says, “Why does Hashem love orphans and widows? Because their eyes are dependent solely on Him.” (Midrash Rabbah, Sh’mos, Mishpatim 30)
Rabbeinu Bachya (Parshas Mishpatim: Sh’mos 22:22) explains that the reason for Hashem’s special encouragement and assistance to widows and orphans is because they turn exclusively to Hashem. Others may ask Hashem for help, but they also generally put in significant efforts through natural channels. We make phone calls, send emails, and many times put far more reliance on – and effort into – obtaining what we need from other people than we do in our seeking help from Hashem. Y’somim and almanos generally are alone, with no one looking out for their best interests, and therefore they turn to Hashem and rely on Hashem only.
Most of us have an obligation to put forth physical and mental efforts to acquire our needs. But the key factor in success is one of focus and heart. Am I truly relying on Hashem, asking and many times even begging Him with mind and heart to provide my current need, while putting forth the physical effort only because I must, as part of my obligation? Or is my overwhelming focus on putting forth the physical and mental effort while I go through the motions of asking Hashem for help?
HaRav Elimelech Biderman, speaking about Parshas HaMan, noted that the very first pasuk in Parshas HaMan (Sh’mos 16:4) uses the word “mamtir (cause to rain)”: “[Hashem said to Moshe:] Behold, I shall rain down for you food from heaven…” He explained that just as Hashem at times brings a drizzle, while at other times brings a major downpour, so, too, He can bring our parnasah as a drizzle or a downpour. He turns the faucet on in whatever degree He wishes. HaRav Biderman then spoke about our efforts. Are we making 77 phone calls to try to obtain something, or are we putting in “normal” efforts in our phone calls while placing our reliance exclusively on Hashem?
The widow and orphan represent those who truly place their full and absolute reliance and trust in Hashem. When we say and internalize “Ein lanu al mi l’hisha’ein ela al Avinu SheBaShamayim (We have no one upon whom to rely other than our Father in Heaven)...or “Ein od milvado (There is none beside Him)” with sincerity, mind, and heart, then Hashem will support us in the same way.
This perek of T’hilim, which we recite as part of our P’sukei D’Zimrah, can provide such a powerful infusion of bitachon – IF we focus on internalizing and driving deep within us the lessons contained herein. Since bitachon is the highest expression of praise to Hashem and love for Hashem, it will be well worth putting forth vigorous efforts to internalize these powerful words of David HaMelech.
To access print versions of previous Tefilah segments, please visit OU Torah’s Search portal, select the Topic of “Tefillah,” and then select “Weekly Tefilah Focus” from the Series list.
For Rabbi Mordechai Finkelman’s video and audio shiurim, which are based on our Tefilah Focus segments but also include his insightful and inspiring additions, please visit TorahAnytime.com or simply search for “TorahAnytime Rabbi Finkelman.”
You can direct any questions or comments to Eliezer Szrolovits at 917-551-0150.