Yitzchak Ginsburgh
Head of Gal Einai Institutes, authority on Kabbalah and Chassidut

Take action or trust in God?

Photo by Henry Lim on Unsplash
Photo by Henry Lim on Unsplash

Q: When I am trying to achieve a goal, how much should I push forward full steam ahead and how much should I let things ride, letting God take care of it?

A: The general rule for this type of situation is to strike a balance between right and left in the soul – the traits of Victory and Acknowledgement. Victory and Acknowledgement are two types of trust. Victory is active trust, while Acknowledgement is passive trust.

First of all, it is clear that whatever is in our power to do, we must do. However, when we take action to the very best of our abilities but encounter an obstacle, we must employ the balance. Sometimes we must try to “defeat” the problem and to manifest all our hidden potential to achieve our goal. On the other hand, sometimes we must surrender to God and give Him the mission, with full confidence that He will complete it as he sees fit.

There are two Biblical figures who perfectly illustrate these two types of trust: King David and King Hezekiah. King David had active trust in God. He fought wars and defeated his enemies. Hezekiah, on the other hand, felt completely incapable of fighting off the enemies laying siege to Jerusalem All that he did was to go to sleep, with complete trust in God that He would defeat the enemy (which He did).

These two different traits have to work together inside us. Sometimes we have to employ them both in different proportions. Sometimes, we should employ only one. But no matter which formula we choose, it must always be with full trust that God’s will will manifest completely in reality.

About the Author
Rabbi Ginsburgh was born in S. Louis, Missouri in 1944. He initially pursued an academic career in mathematics and philosophy, later studying Torah under the guidance of several great sages–most notably, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rabbi Ginsburgh made Aliyah to Israel in 1965. His familiarity with mathematics, science, philosophy, psychology and music has enabled him to lecture throughout Israel, relating the ancient wisdom of Torah to many currents trends in academic thought and art.
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