“When you will say in your heart, ‘these nations are more numerous than me; how will I be able to drive them out?’ You will not fear from them; you will surely remember what G-d did to Pharaoh and to all of Egypt.” (Devarim/Deuteronomy 7:17-18). Moses reminds the Israelites of their miraculous exodus from Egypt. Is this just a history lesson or travel log?
The parsha for this Sabbath is Eikev. In it, Moses talks about the reward the Children of Israel will reap if they stay true to the mitzvahs, warns them against being seduced by prosperity, and reminds them of their history.
Faith Trumps Worries
Remember Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman and his slogan, “What, me worry?” While his lack of concern about the future is admirable, it probably was not due to bitachon, essentially optimism about the future based on faith. Still, you can achieve the same anxiety-free level if, when you agonize about the future you counter your fears by remembering how G-d helped you in the past.
This is the essence of Moses’s message. There is no question that the Egyptians were mightier than the peoples who lived in Canaan. By G-d taking the Israelites out of slavery He was showing them that they had no reason to fear.
You Have All You Need for a Successful Life
The broader issue is that G-d gives you all you need in order to successfully navigate His plan. It is only when your desires are greater or different than what G-d currently intends for you that you experience anxiety at a lack of money or other resources. Internalizing the lesson of the Exodus will allow you to move through life with much less pain and worry.
Next time you find yourself fretting about the future, try to remember how G-d helped you solve a similar situation in the past. If you and He were able to conquer life then, surely as a team you can do so now.
Question – How has G-d helped you in the past that you can use to bolster your faith and decrease your worry?
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Every year beginning on Simchas Torah, the cycle of reading the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, ends and begins again. Each Sabbath a portion known as a sedra or parsha is read. It is named after the first significant word or two with which this weekly reading begins.
What verse in the Old Testament would you like to know more about? Ask a question and I will answer it in a future Parsha Nugget!
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