Watch your pride

The leaders of Israel make a decision to enter into Gaza, and surprise Hamas with a devastating attack. The operation has begun and there is certainly promise in what is being done.

Yet, we see events unfolding with a superficial eye. We believe that what we see on the surface is what is really happening. When our leaders make decisions or surrender to inaction, we are fooled into believing that it is their own choices that are deciding our future.

When the results seem to be positive, we quickly get caught up in patting ourselves on the back. When things turn a different course, we look immediately for someone to take the blame.

This is all a result of a fundamental mistake. We forget that לב מלכים ביד השם – the hearts of kings (or leaders) are in the hand of Hashem. This means that although on the surface it would seem that there are certain people making decisions, starting wars and showing bravado, all that is really here is a drama that is being written by Hashem Himself. We sit in the audience and watch the actors on stage, believing that it is real and they are spontaneously thinking of their lines. The truth is that each one of them was chosen for their role because they would play their part well. But the script was written by Hashem. What they do and what they choose is not guided by their own intellects. It is guided by the greatest Intellect.

We need to have this perception when we read the news if we want to understand what is really going on. The moment we give in to the pride – yes it is pride to believe that our superficial perception of reality is all that there is – we make a tremendous mistake. When things are going well, the mistake makes us lose sight of Hashem’s helping hand. When things are not going as well, the error leads us to despair.

When we trust in Hashem and know that all is from Him, and all is for our ultimate benefit, we can have true appreciation for His good in the good times, and hope for the best, even when times seem bleak. As Dovid Hamelech put it, להגיד בבוקר חסדיך ואמונתך בלילות – To say your praises in the morning [when there is light and all is well], and Your faithfulness in the night [when all seems dark and bleak].

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