Mendy Kaminker

In G-d we trust, all others pay cash?

“In G-d, we trust; all others pay cash,” said one humorist.

“In G-d, we trust; all others bring data,” said one data scientist and engineer.

After I chuckled, I wondered: is there a correlation between trust in G-d and trust in people? Does having more faith in G-d increase or decrease faith in people?

Looking at this week’s Haftarah, it seems that people of faith should place their trust exclusively in G-d.

Look at this verse:

“So says the L-rd: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart turns away from the L-rd.”

And this One:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the L-rd; the L-rd shall be his trust.”

So basically, man cannot be trusted. So yeah, let them indeed bring cash (or data)!

Is that so?

Not so fast.

A woman once wrote to the Rebbe. She felt that no one cared for her, making her lose trust in everybody around her.

The Rebbe acknowledged her anguish and expressed hope that she was feeling better when she received his answer.

He then delves into the issue of trust. He quoted the verse in our Haftara and pointed out that many might look at the verse as a suggestion not to trust anyone but G-d.

“However, the verse itself explains the problem,” the Rebbe wrote.

“‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man’… why is that? Because ‘his heart turns away from the L-rd'”.

In other words, when we are not mindful of G-d’s existence, we lose trust in people.

It’s not only about their action and behavior; much of it has to do with our own beliefs.

The Rebbe continued:

“When a person turns towards G-d, and is mindful that G-d is the one who created all humans… that will enable him to see the inner good in them.

“This positive attitude towards others will impact them and bring out their inner good, eventually revealing their compassion and care.”

I find this answer so powerful for two reasons.

First, it provided this woman, who felt so powerless and lonely, with the ability to change her situation.

And the way the Rebbe achieved it was remarkable. All she needed was to change her focus. Instead of viewing them as flawed humans, she can now view them as the G-dly creation they are.

That will reveal their inner good and open channels of compassion and care.

May we always be trustworthy, and may we always bring out the trustworthiness in the people around us!

About the Author
Rabbi Mendy Kaminker is the Chabad Rabbi of Hackensack, and an editorial member of
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