Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier

Too Smart to Get Married

December 23, 2014, by

I got a call from a fellow who said, “Rebbe, you have to help me.” “Sure, sure. What’s up?” I replied. “Well, I was set up with this girl, and I think that I’m going to fall for her.” “That’s great. So what’s the problem?” “What’s the problem? That’s the problem. She’s not what I’m

The Bashert Test

December 18, 2014, by

One of the greatest challenges in life is finding the balance between bitachon and histadlus—recognizing that HASHEM runs the world, yet actively doing our part. If this is difficult in many situations, it is much more so when it comes to choosing a spouse. The question is: what is the correct approach when dating? The

What Real Bitachon Feels Like

December 10, 2014, by

Imagine a five-year-old, walking with her mother into the hospital for her second chemotherapy treatment. The little girl knows what’s coming. She remembers the pain. She understands the nausea. She knows what it’s like to brush her hair and watch clumps come out. Yet, she holds her mother’s hand, and goes along, because “Mommy said

Stop Playing God

November 25, 2014, by

Eighty percent of our emunah problems and ninety percent of our questions on Hashem stem from one mistake—we play God. Playing God means I know exactly what I need. I need to marry that woman. I need that job. I need my child to get into that school. I’ve talked to Hashem about it. I’ve

Hashem Loves You More than You Love Yourself

November 19, 2014, by

The Chovos HaLevavos explains that in order to have bitachon, you must realize that Hashem cares about you in a very real way. You must appreciate that Hashem is deeply concerned for your good. And you must know that Hashem loves you. But Hashem doesn’t care about you as a mortal cares about you. Hashem

Is Hashem Angry with Me?

November 13, 2014, by

“The second question is,” I said, “what could you do to make Hashem angry? “Let’s say that you decided, ‘That’s it. I’m fed up with Hashem, and I’m going to do something to get Him angry.’ What could you do to make Hashem really mad? “The answer is nothing. Because, quite frankly, you’re not important

Hashem Loves You

October 27, 2014, by

I was speaking in an out-of-town community on the topic of the four levels of emunah. I spent some time dwelling on the third level: that Hashem knows our thoughts. I explained the parable of the transparent man, and that Hashem peers into my essence and knows exactly what I’m thinking as I think it.

How to Take an Insult

October 23, 2014, by

When I was in third grade, I had a teacher who taught us how to accept a compliment. “Don’t squirm,” she would say. “Look the person in the eye, and say thank-you.” While this was wise advice, I don’t recall any teacher telling us how to take an insult. The Chovos HaLevavos does (Sha’ar Bitachon

You Can’t Harm Me, You Can’t Help Me

October 7, 2014, by

“Do not take revenge.” [Vayikra 19:18] One day, you ask to borrow my shovel. I refuse. The next day, I say to you, “May I borrow your hammer?” You respond, “Yesterday, when I asked you for a shovel, you wouldn’t help me. I’m going to pay you back in kind. Now that you need something,

Emunah and Good Luck Charms

September 29, 2014, by

A generation ago, bingo games were serious fundraisers for Torah institutions. Most Yeshivas ran them, and as the staff at the game could only be volunteers, many a yeshiva bachur found himself “volunteering” to work the game. Every game had its version of Sadie—an older woman in her housecoat, sitting at the end of the

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