Mazeltov to Esther Chazen on the occasion of her grandson Aaron Chazen’s engagement to Hannah daughter of Sol and Lauren Swartz    Mazeltov to Leora daughter of Michael and Shereen Fisher on the occasion of her engagement to Brad son of Aubrey and Hazel Rosen     Mazeltov to Cayli daughter of Laurence and Marice Smith on the occasion of her engagement to Yaron son of Manny and Dafna Sher    Mazeltov to Adam and Romy Presky, on the birth of a daughter and mazeltov to grandparents Chonnie and Heather Becker    Mazeltov to Gabriel son of Selwyn and Roz Smith, on his engagement to Michal daughter of Boris and Tricia Benari

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DVAR TORAH

DVAR TORAH – by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

 

The Torah states: “You shall (trust) wholeheartedly in the Almighty, your G-d” (Deuteronomy 18:13).

We are enjoined to trust in G-d, but to what degree do we have an obligation to make a normal human effort and what is considered a lack of trust in G-d?

The question arises regarding testing people before marriage for being carriers of Tay-Sachs disease. Some people wonder whether such testing is not contrary to the trust we are required to have in Divine Providence — why search for problems when in all probability none exist?

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, of blessed memory, (who was one of the foremost authorities on Jewish law) clarified this point: “Although the percentage of infants born with this disease is small and one might be apt to apply the verse: ‘You shall trust wholeheartedly in the Almighty,’ (which Rashi interprets as meaning that one should not delve into the future) in light of the fact that a simple test has been developed for this, one who does not make use of it is like one who shuts his eyes to what can clearly be seen … and since the birth of such a child, G-d forbid, causes great anguish … it is prudent for all who are considering marriage to undergo this test.”

Having trust in the Almighty will give a person peace of mind and serenity. However, one should never use a claim of trust in the Almighty to condone laziness or rash behavior. There is a thin line between the virtue of trusting in God and the fault of carelessness and lack of taking responsibility.

The story is told of a man who lived by a river. A policeman warns him to evacuate because of a flood warning. The man rejects the offer and says, “I have perfect trust in the Almighty to save me.” As the water rises, a person in a boat offers to take him to safety. The man again replies with his proclamation of trust and refuses the ride. Finally, as the man is sitting on his roof, a helicopter comes to rescue him; again, the man proclaims his trust and refuses the rescue. The water rises; the man drowns and is finally standing in judgment before the Almighty. “God, I had perfect trust in you — how could you let me down?” The Almighty replies, “But, my son, I sent the policeman, the boat and the helicopter!”

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