Simply Perfect

“You shall be wholehearted with Hashem your G-d” (Devarim 18:13).

Look to Him, i.e. trust in what He has in store for you, and do not delve into the future, but rather whatever comes upon you accept with wholeheartedness and then you will be with Him and be His portion (Rashi).

We live in the technological age of instant information. Even matters that are very technical can be researched in seconds. Rather than being satisfied, curiosity feeds on itself; with each piece of information someone discovers, he becomes hungrier for additional facts. A person might excuse his insatiable desire for information, for even trivial facts, by positing that knowledge is power.

Harav Menachem Eliezer Shach, zt”l, wrote in a letter that he was told that many were infatuated with people who claimed they could predict the future. He declared that they are all unlearned cheats who give advice and write amulets just to make money. They don’t know anything about the future and it is forbidden, the Rosh Yeshivah said, to rely on them or to believe in their claims of special powers.

When asked about palm readers, he replied that it is absolutely forbidden to go to them or to accept their predictions. Ramban writes, he added, that someone who does not turn to predictions but just accepts what Hashem sends is fulfilling one of the 613 mitzvot — “You shall be wholeheartedly with Hashem your G-d.”

Chazal tell of a man who approached Shelomoh Hamelech and asked to be taught the secrets of bird language. Shelomoh was known to be one of the few people who could understand the chirpings of birds. At first the monarch deflected him, saying, “It doesn’t always pay to know too much.” However, when the man stubbornly persisted the king relented, and taught him to understand the birds.

One day while tending to his fields, the man overheard two birds saying that his flocks would die in the coming week. He immediately went to market and sold everything. Before the week was out, all the sheep and goats had perished.

Not long afterward, he heard two birds saying that his house was going to burn down. Again, he sprang into action and sold his home. Before long the house went up in flames.

The next message that he got from birds talking was very disturbing. The birds said that he was going to die that very month. He panicked and rushed to King Solomon to seek a plan of escape from the harsh decree.

“I told you it is not good to know too much,” the king said. “If you would have been unaware in advance of the previous impending tragedies you would have suffered the losses. The pain would have brought you to repent and the current decree would have been nullified; but now…”

Walking wholeheartedly with Hashem requires one to accept all that occurs as the work of Hashem, which is always good for the human recipient. There is no one so righteous as to completely avoid sin, and so Hashem often delivers small doses of punishments to atone for sin and prevent more profound discipline. The worst in one’s eyes may be minuscule in relation to what needs to be done for complete atonement. Rather than complain — accept. It’s all from Hashem and it’s always good.

Shabbat shalom.