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Hishtadlus and Bitachon- Human Efforts & God's Intervention


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Kislev 20, 5778
I am a Yeshiva man, age 32, big Matmid. I am looking for a part-time job for 3 years. I need something to my day besides for learning (not because I need money) but nothing came up. I do Hishtadlus, but not too much because I am very much into Bitachon, and I feel if I do too much Hishtadlus it will ruin my Bitachon. I think I do enough Hishtadlus. What should I do? Please don't answer that Hashem has His ways and it’s going to be good. I already heard all these Shticklach Torah. Thank You!
There are many different legitimate (!) approaches regarding the proper balance between human efforts expressing man’s free-will (Hishtadlut), as opposed to one’s faith (Bitachon) in Hashem that everything He sends us, is “for the best”. Chassidei Breslav lean more in the direction of Bitachon, while Rambamists lean more in the direction of Hishtadlut. You have legitimately chosen your intellectual path (saying “I am very much into Bitachon”), but if you’re not getting the desired results, and you’re not happy, or “something is missing”, or your learning is suffering and you need something else for variety, than obviously you should consider, at least temporarily, leaning a little more towards hishtadlut. “Ellu v’ellu divrei Elokim Chayim”, and just like in halacha, where there’s an idea of “kim li” (= an individual can declare: ”I hold like this opinion…”see for example Kuntres Hasfeikot 6, 6 on the Shach’s Takfo Kohen), how much more so in hashkafa, you can change your approach, if need be, even temporarily. This obviously isn’t a weakness in Bitachon and surely won’t “ruin” it, but a realistic evaluation of your present situation which apparently is problematic. Always remember that our Father wants His children to be happy, learn Torah, find the proper (even if changing) subjective balance between Hishtadlut and Bitachon, etc. etc., and just analyze what will help you achieve this mutual goal which will also make you happy, and benefit your learning, family life, etc. Hashem created us as “holistic” beings, and if even one thing bothers us, it may have negative ramifications on everything, so we must deal with it. B'hatzlacha and Shabbat Shalom!
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