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Shaar Bitachon / Gate of Trust
with classic commentaries

Yomi Version - 7 Week Cycle
Gate #4 of Chovos Halevavos / Duties of the Heart
by Rabeinu Bahya ibn Paquda zt'l

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(53th Cycle, day 13 of 49)

(2) To know and clearly realize that the Creator is watching him, and neither one's private or public conduct is hidden from Him, nor his innermost being or outer appearance. He also knows whether a man's trust in Him is with a sincere heart or not, as the verse says "G-d knows the thoughts of the heart, that they are vain" (Tehilim 94:11) and "Does not He that tests the heart understand it?" (Mishlei 24:12), and "You alone know the hearts of all men" (Melachim I 8:39).
When this is clearly realized by the one who trusts, it is not proper for him to claim with his lips that he trusts in G-d (in the daily prayers in many places - ML), without trusting in Him in his heart and thoughts, whereby he would be in the category of he of whom the verse says "with their mouths and their lips they honor Me, but their hearts are far from Me" (Yeshaya 29:13).
(Pas Lechem: The reason the author counted this as one of the introductions/prerequisites to trust is only for the phrase: "He also knows whether a man's trust in Him is with a sincere heart or not", that through a man's remembering that G-d observes Him in all of his words and thoughts, he will also remember that included in this is G-d's observing whether or not his trust is sincere.

Marpe Lenefesh: When a man realizes that G-d knows the truth, whether what comes out of his lips is the same as what is in his heart, how could he then claim and say that he "truly trusts in G-d", when his heart is not with him. And then G-d will also remove His providence from him as mentioned in the beginning of the introduction to this gate ("..whoever trusts in something other than G-d, the Al-mighty will remove His providence from such a person..."), and then it will be a chillul H-ashem. And it is proper for us to put our eyes and hearts on the things which come out of our lips every day in our prayers, that we claim and say many times that we trust in Him and hope to Him, such as in Pesukei D'Zimra: "Nafshenu Chiksa L'H-ashem", "ki bshem kadsho batachnu", "yehi chasdecha..", and in Ahava Raba: "ki bshem kadshecha hagadol vehanora batachnu", and in the Shmonei Esrei "ve ten sachar tov lchol habotchim b'shimcha b'emes, vsim chelkenu imahem", "ki becha batachnu", and many others. It is proper for every man to put his eye and heart all of his days on the words of this gate, then "lo yevosh v'lo yikalem", not in this world and not in the next.
(3) That a person trusts in G-d alone for the things he is obligated to trust in (the things that one should not trust in G-d will be explained later), and not to associate Him with anyone else by trusting in Him and one of the created beings because then his trust in G-d will be invalidated in that he associated someone else with G-d. You know what was said about Asa, despite all of his piety, when he relied on the doctors, as written "during his illness, he did not seek help from G-d, but only in the doctors" (Divrei HaYamim II 16:12) (i.e. he did not also pray ), and he was punished for this. And the verse says "Blessed is the man who trusts in the L-ord; the L-ord shall be his refuge" (Yirmiya 17:7).

And it is known that one who entrusts two or more men to do a task, the matter spoils. All the more so, for one who trusts in G-d and man, that his trust in G-d will be ruined (since he equated G-d with a created being, which is a great demeaning of G-d's greatness - TL).
(Pas Lechem: The talmud says (Eruvin 50a) "a pot of partners is neither hot nor cold", i.e. that for two people who are entrusted with a task, even though they are of approximately equal worth, nevertheless, each one is not pleased with your trust in him since you also charged the second person to head the task and trusted in him. All the more so that it is hard on G-d to be pleased when you equate a servant with his Master.

Translator: The Rayatz Rebbe would say "bitachon (trust) is when a person finds himself in the middle of the ocean with nothing, not even a piece of straw". i.e. this is how one should view his situation. Heard from D.L.Naiditch)
Furthermore, this will be the strongest factor for denying him the object of his trust, as written "cursed is the man who trusts in men,.. and turns his heart away from G-d" (Yirmiya 17:5).
(Marpe Lenefesh: Rather, let one reflect constantly that G-d is the Cause of all causes, and everyone and everything are merely His agents, as will be explained later on.)