"Trust in the Lord and do good, rest on earth and nourish faith"
(Psalms, 37: 3)
Rivka Olenick
It is difficult, if not impossible to have perspective. God is all-powerful, all wise, just and beneficent. It is difficult to see God's justice - when we believe that we see only injustice in the world. What we see is man's power and clever manipulation, and man's evil destruction while innocent people in Israel are suffering and many have died. We suffer with them, they are our brethren, our family. And the rest of the world does not come to our aid but condemns us and undermines who we are as a people... Where is the justice that is supposed to be meted, each according to his evil deed. How do we deal with the world's denial of God's chosen people and the denial that the land of Israel was designated for us? At the same time, how do we maintain trust in God, while life all around us appears to defy justice and we do not see God's protection?

Trust in the Lord: When a person devotes his/her life to the service of God, a person has real security. This is the only security there is and this security is based on trust. A person realizes if they live according to God's plan as a Jew, then he/she has no need to find security in anything else. This is the purpose of our existence, as the Jewish nation and individually. Knowing that this is the purpose of our existence should give a person tremendous security. Because this is the only reason we were created. It is only God who provides us with our intelligence, talents and abilities. It is He who allows us to enjoy our good fortune and everything that we acquire and achieve in this world - even when it seems we have no protection in the world. The Jew has a specific mission in life, which completely revolves around serving the Creator and being an example of righteousness and goodness to others. By definition, our mission provides us with all the security we need. We must try to stay steadfast in our faith and belief that God knows everything. After all, He created us, we are HIS nation, his children and our covenant with God is eternal.
Do good: By doing good, we direct our energies in fulfilling the commandments as often and as much as we can. This is service, and this is doing good. This is what gives us true fulfillment in our lives and this is what God wants of us. Don't be fooled by what the rest of society calls "good," which is finding ways to seek never-ending pleasure and fantasy. This has nothing to do with how the Torah defines the "good." The only good that matters is the good that God wants you to do. When deciding on an activity, a person only has to ask: "Will this find favor in God's eyes?" As said by King David, "Seek and find your greatest sense of comfort with God. Desire and take delight only in those pleasures of which you need not be ashamed in God's presence. In fact, these pleasures should give you joy because you know that you may enjoy them in his presence since they have come to you through His bounty and they find favor in His eyes. Even amidst joys and pleasures, you remain with your God." Therefore, directing our energies to serve God is good, while directing our energies to serve only ourselves is not good. Do not be concerned with whether others appreciate your aspirations to serve God, or not. Or even whether they encourage you to or not.

Rest on earth: This means we should seek and secure for ourselves, a quiet, undisturbed place to live. And live side by side as neighbors, each as individuals within a peaceful and harmonious existence. While everything around you may be constantly changing and uncertain, make a stable dwelling for yourself. But do not be so absorbed by your "place" that you forget your purpose in life - which is to do the will of God.

Nourish faith: We are all vulnerable and easy prey to the instability of life. Yet each day we should think about the greatness of God, and the true purpose of our lives as God planned for us. Try to live each day as if it were our last, and serve the Creator with all our heart, soul and all our might, as it says in the Shema, that is our purpose. Because maybe we won't live past today. God has provided us with the "how" to fulfill our purpose. By making a greater effort to be involved in prayer with greater concentration, Torah study, the commandments, especially tzedaka and trying harder to improve our character flaws - which is all part of "how" we nourish faith. This is what gives us strength and courage to be involved in God's will. And this is what helps us to cultivate in our mind love and fear of God. We must try every day to be really involved in the "how." And teach our children and inspire others to be involved in the "how" so they can nourish their faith. If we continue to direct our lives towards the derech Hashem, the way of God, God will assist us.

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