Thirteen Thoughts on Emuna
Thirteen is the numerical equivalent for the Hebrew word echad, or one. Since Hashem is One and His Name is One, here are 13 thoughts for us to live by...
by Rabbi Shalom Arush
Thirteen is the numerical equivalent for the Hebrew word echad, or one. Since Hashem is One and His Name is One, here are 13 thoughts for us to live by:
1. There is a Creator and Ruler of the world who directs everything for each person with precise supervision. He determines the exact conditions of a person's life: to which family he’ll be born, who he’ll marry, how he will look, what his disposition will be like, how many children he’ll have, what his financial status will be, who will be his friends and acquaintances, and all of the other limitless details.
2. The Creator is the One who decrees when a person will succeed and when he will fail; when he will find grace and when he will be disgraced and ridiculed; who he will encounter and so forth… the list is endless.
3. A man comes to the world with a mission. Life in this world is not permanent. It begins and ends according to the person’s soul-rectification and according to his mission.
4. Do you want the truth? Examine yourself and your life! What are you doing? Where do you invest your energies, your abilities and your hopes? Are these things the purpose of the creation? Do you feel that you are accomplishing your mission and fulfilling your purpose in the world?
5. The Creator‘s whole purpose in creating man is because He wants to bestow good upon him and have mercy on him. The Creator’s greatest pleasure is that a person will have everything good and be successful in life. So too, the honor of the Creator is increased when a person has a good life and experiences success. The mercy of the Creator is limitless and is certainly enough to help a person and save him from the most difficult situations even if he doesn’t deserve the help, just as long as a person turns to Him.
6. Know that the Creator hears, sees, overlooks and is concerned about the welfare of even the lowliest creation, and is always prepared to help it.
7. Rebbe Natan of Breslev said: wherever I see deficiency, either there was no prayer at all for the desired object or insufficient prayer. Consequently, sufficient prayer can attain whatever is lacking.
8. You believe that everything is from Hashem! So why don't you speak to Him about everything? If you don't speak to Him about a given matter, it's a sign that you don't believe in Him and that your emuna could use reinforcement for only He can help you.
9. Emuna is a person's greatest power, which enables him to easily and successfully cope with any challenge or difficulty, whether in income, marriage, child-raising, spiritual setbacks and the like.
10. Any despair and breakdown is the result of a lack of emuna, resulting when a person thinks that there's no hope or solution to his current predicament. But with emuna, he knows that there's no situation on earth that Hashem can't rescue him from.
11. Even a person's most difficult deficiencies are for his ultimate benefit. Only Hashem knows his path and the ultimate objective that he must reach.
12. Emuna gives a reason and purpose for everything. Even a person whose entire life is pain and suffering can find true and cogent consolation in emuna. If he receives proper instruction in teshuva, he'll be rescued from tribulations. Hashem certainly doesn't want to torment a person, but the objective of tribulations is to arouse a person to teshuva, so that he will indeed be able to live a good life.
13. Emuna teaches that Hashem alone runs the world. Everything that happens in the world is the result of His complete and precise Divine providence, as it is written, "The Master of every deed". This means that He controls every deed.
Review the above thirteen thoughts once a day, and you'll surely purify your soul and get closer to Hashem – what could be better?
Rabbi Shalom Arush is an Israeli Breslov rabbi and founder of the Chut Shel Chessed Institutions. He spreads the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov among Sephardic and Ashkenazic baalei teshuva around the world through his books and speaking appearances. Rabbi Arush is considered one of today's leading Hasidic spiritual guides, inspiring hundreds of thousands through his books, audio CDs and online presence.