Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bitachon vs. Hishtadlus

The speaker at a shiur was telling of his frustration when his daughter was single. He had said to his wife, while proverbially ripping his hair out, "We have to do something!" She calmly answered, "No, we don't. We do what we always have done, and have bitachon."

Needless to say, this daughter is long married. 

He continued, referencing the Gra on bitachon and hishtadlus: 

One has bitachon for oneself, and does hishtadlus for others. Meaning, one cannot say to someone, "You have to do your hishtadlus." No. One can tell someone else to have bitachon, but do hishtadlus for the other. Not only should one make a token effort for another, but make oneself absolutely meshiga. For another, one should say, "We have to do something!" 

But for oneself, one should remain calm, and have bitachon.

It is not hishtadlus for me to call up complete strangers and grant them omniscient power, or to make unnecessary (and expensive) trips or hotel stays in the name of "You never know." And if I'm painfully, squirmingly uncomfortable, is that what hishtadlus involves? 

I have to have bitachon for myself, and help others for my hishtadlus. 

I tried once to set up a couple. Kinda blew up in my face, imploded, more like, when it turns out the girl was looking for someone that was not him. I was gun-shy, I must admit, for a few years. But after a hunch became reality, I became more determined. If I have an actual, viable idea, I should follow up. I've made a few more attempts, but no results, yet. But that's not the point. I feel accomplished that I tried, that I did my hishtadlus. 

Listening to a number of shiurim prior to Purim, I enjoyed this one by Rabbi Daniel Glatstein, in which he states, quoting the Nesivos, that hishtadlus is not everything.
Mordechai sitting at the gate of the palace.
I am not yet brave enough to snappily retort to the one who lectures, "You have to do your hishtadlus!" that "Hishtadlus means that you set me up, lady." But I am at peace, knowing that my own actions are not the beginning and end. 


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

No, it's okay to have hishtadlus for yourself but you have to have the bitachon that it'll be successful.

Princess Lea said...

I didn't say that it isn't "okay" to do hishtadlus for oneself.

Sun inside Rain said...

I needed to hear that now. I did a lot of hishtadlus along the way and have taken a more laid back approach recently. I truly believe that Hashem will send the right one along when the time is right and I just can't bring myself to keep calling strangers to beg. Still, it hasn't felt right because all I hear is that I need to do hishtadlus. So thank you for sharing this lesson you learned.

Princess Lea said...

Hey, Sun, so nice to hear from you!

I've also been going laid back. People hock me too, but my policy is now "Bite me." Acting from frustration or feeling stuck is not the same thing as hishtadlus, I've learned. Plus whenever I've called strangers to beg it has never worked out; all that results, if there is a date, is the haunting trauma since it was so bad.

I'm focusing on working on myself, rather. I feel like I'm accomplishing more that way. I'm also happier.

"I truly believe that Hashem will send the right one along when the time is right." Amen, sister! There is a God, no matter what anyone else says about my single state being my fault.