A Conversation with Rabbi David Sutton: Author of Bais Beis HaLevi on Bitachon with Commentary and Insights

AS: Beis HaLevi on Bitachon has an interesting history. Can you tell us about the manuscript and how it came to be published?

RDS: As Rosh Yeshivah of Volozhin, founder of the Brisk dynasty, and author of Beis HaLevi al HaTorah and Teshuvos Beis HaLevi, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik is revered throughout the Torah world. The Beis HaLevi made another significant written contribution to the Torah world, which is much less known: the Ma’amar HaBitachon. It provides vital, all-encompassing insights on the true meaning of emunah and bitachon, as well as on the fundamentals of man’s relationship with God. The Beis HaLevi’s essay on bitachon was not published during his lifetime. The manuscript accompanied his descendants along a long journey until it was finally published as an appendix to Beis HaLevi al HaTorah in 1985. We now have the zechus of taking this hidden treasure of Torah and offering it to the general public. This volume includes the original text, a flowing and readable translation, commentary, insights, and an Overview.

AS: A unique feature is a section of pesukim to recite in order to strengthen bitachon. Tell us about this custom.

RDS: The more one has bitachon on his lips, the more it will enter his heart. Listen to what the Sefer HaChinuch says about this custom. “These pesukim in Tehillim about reliance on Hashem contain ideas that inspire the soul of a person who knows them, arousing him to rely on Hashem …. As a result of that inspiration, he will without any doubt be protected from all possible harm.” The Maharal said, “Every person must recite pesukim of reliance on Hashem to train and habituate himself in faith and belief in Hashem.” The Maharal also quoted his grandfather, saying, “We have received an accepted tradition … that reciting verses of reliance on Hashem has the power to annul all harsh decrees.”

AS: How can this sefer help us in these challenging times?

RD: To paraphrase a well-known saying: When the going gets tough — the Jew works on bitachon. Emunah and bitachon give us the strength to deal with the world around us. We are living in a period of challenges in many areas of life, throughout the world, so we are especially proud to present this book at a time when so many people will benefit from it.

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