[Avodah] Fwd: Bitachon in Chovos Halevavos

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Sun Jan 28 10:36:42 PST 2024

Last June some conversation ensued after my hesped for RSM. To repeat
>  In Chovos haLvavos, Shaar haBitachon: Related to the machloqes between the
> prescriptive focus of Chassidus and Novhardoker Mussar (if I have bitachon,
> things will work out well) and the descriptive focus of the Chazon Ish
> (bitachon is the knowledge that things are working out well as Hashem
> Planned it, even if I personally would have wanted something else).

> My question revolves around the  Judeo-Arabic Al Hidayah ila Faraid
> al-Qulub, the word Rabbeinu Bachyah ibn Pequdah actually used.

And with RSM's petirah, I lost my access to Judeo-Arabic expertise. (RSM
had a Phd from Harvard in Semitic Languages.) So, during shiv'ah I
already had a question I really wished he was around to ask.

So RZL and RMK asked what part of the text I was talking about. There are
numerous snippets, and so this question sat flagged in my inbox, and I never
got around to actually replying.

I still don't have a good list. But it starts with the opening of Shaar
haBitachon ch. 1:
   But the mahus of Bitachon is the Menuchas haNefesh of the Botaich.
   And that his heart/mind relies on the one in whom he tusts,
   that they will do hatov vehanachon lo
   in the matter which he entrusted to them.

So, we need to know what was "hatov vehanachon" in the original Arabic,
and does it connote what I, the recipient, would consider desirable,
or what is best for the recipient even if tragic.

I translated this without being specific of a particular Trusted
One, since chapter 2 talks about trusting "chaveiro" as well, and what
qualities a person needs to have to be trustworthy. Trust in the Divine
in particular, what we today usually mean by "Bitachon", only takes the
center stage in ch. 3.

Like the end of ch. 2:
    And whomever combines therse traits... would obligate the person
    who knowws this livtoach bo, and to have menuchas hanefesh externally
    and internally in his heart/mind and linmbs, and to be given over to
    uleratzos bigzeirosav and just him to be good bekhol dinav umif'alosav.

Again, what are gezeiros, dinim, and mif'alos? The first two definitely
appear to include in Bitachon trusting their choice of outcome, even if
they aren't the desired one.

I am therefore leaning to give a Chazon Ish take on the Chovos haLvavos's
definition of Bitachon. But that's not the usual. Which again, is why the
whole thing was a painful reminder of the loss of a rebbe-chaver of some
40+ years.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Life isn't about finding yourself.
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   Life is about creating yourself.
Author: Widen Your Tent               - George Bernard Shaw
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

More information about the Avodah mailing list