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Faith, The Foundation of The World #6 

Based on a shiur by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

Chazal say that one who borrows something from another person and doesn’t return it is like a person who borrows something from Hashem and doesn’t return it. It shows a lack of faith.

The laws of nature that Hashem put in place during creation enable the world to exist. Without these laws there would be no reality. It says in Iyov, “Disorder is the shadow of death.” Some of the laws of existence are observable. We need to eat, sleep, wear clothes, etc. Part of life is knowing what to do in order to get these things.

The Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim says people are governed by the natural laws of human co-existence. Communication, honor, faithfulness, mutual cooperation, and honesty are all essential for a functioning society.  None of us could survive on our own. We’d disintegrate and die. 

However the difference between natural law and social law is that natural law can’t be broken. Whether you believe in it or not, it works against your will. Social laws require our willingness to obey. They can be disregarded and when that happens society falls apart.

There are laws that are deep and less accessible and they are the foundation of the world. These are the commandments of the Torah. Breaking them leads to chaos and destruction. It’s easy to turn your eyes away from it. But a person with emunah will naturally follow nature, society, and Hashem’s law. Chavakuk said, “V’tzaddik bemunoso yichye” -A righteous person lives with faith. Everything can be reduced to faith. Emunah has the same root as neeman- trustworthiness. It also comes from the word uman- someone who has taken on the commitment to raise a child. A tzaddik lives with emunah. He’s both responsible and caring. You can count on him at all times even when he’s uninspired. The power of emunah is what keeps us connected to Torah. It’s the will to maintain that bond with Hashem.

Chavakuk relates emunah to a person’s inner life. The heart knows Hashem’s rules. This is why Torah resonates with us when we learn. We recognize that this is the only way we can exist.  

The same way a person knows he can’t renegotiate gravity he knows he can’t negotiate the inner rules of life. It’s not just about pragmatism. It’s Hashem’s will for us. It’s what we need to have a healthy society and to be spiritual people. A person can avoid stealing for many reasons. Either he’s afraid of the law or he dreads the chaos that will be created if he steals. However the deepest reason really is his inner fear of the One Above. He believes in Hashem and Divine providence. He doesn’t turn aside from the inner law any more than the outer law. A person who isn’t faithful is a person who only acts to his own advantage. He has no connection to the laws of life as it says in the curses, “You won’t believe in your life.” A person with inner chaos disintegrates. He doesn’t trust himself because he has no boundaries. That person is close to death.  

Only a person who appreciates the good others have done for him will feel gratitude to Hashem. A devoted son of an earthly father will be a loyal son to his Father in heaven.

It says in the Torah, “A man, a man, whose wife has deceived him.” Why does it say the word “man” twice? The first time it refers to the wife’s actual husband whom she deceived.  The second time it signifies her relationship with Hashem which was built on falsehood. She’s abandoned the husband of her youth and her covenant with Hashem. A woman who is faithful to her husband will ultimately be true to Hashem.

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