Stop Acting Clever and Start Acting Simple -The Secret of Fate [1]

There are many situations in life when a person’s mind becomes confused and he doesn’t know what to choose. It’s not for nothing that Hashem puts a person in these sorts of situations but in order to achieve a very big spiritual rectification.

There is a piece of advice known as ‘stop acting clever and start acting simple’.

That means we have to simply tell Hashem:

My intellect only reaches this far. From here I have no idea what to do.  And truthfully, I really want what You want. therefore I am now going to act like a simple person.

I am connecting myself to You Hashem, and handing over my decision to You, and whatever comes out from this, it’s from You.’

When we don’t know what to do and we tell this to Hashem and ask Him to, ‘guide me in the way that You want and that You know best’ – this is the way of ‘the Simple One’, to believe that whatever comes is exactly what Hashem wants.

When we truly seek the good, and when it’s hidden from us, we can bring it back to Hashem by having a simple conversation with Him. All that then follows is the truth and His will. Because at these times, Hashem just wants us to have simple, honest emuna.

Hashem will then turn whatever was chosen ‘by chance’ into the true will of a person, even if the person didn’t intend this initially.

The tikkun depends on us maintaining our happiness at the time of indecision, and upon trusting Hashem that whatever ultimately happens, it’s all from Him.

This is the secret which is called ‘the secret of fate’.

At the time of the Beit Hamikdash, the Kohen Gadol would take two goats to atone for Am Yisrael on the eve of Yom Kippur.

The mitzvah was to take two identical twin goats which had no visible differences between them, and only to decide via the lots cast by the Kohen Gadol which one of them would atone with his blood in the Holy of Holies, and which would be sacrificed to the impure forces.

This is a hint to the situations in which we don’t know which path to choose, because both paths seem to be the same, in our eyes. Through simple words and emuna and through giving control of the world back to Hashem. We can rise up to the secret of fate and Hashem can then clarify the truth for us.

We can achieve simple emuna in the merit of handing control back to Hashem. This is the opposite of investigation and indecision, and distress and doubt about what will be and what could happen. Those are all just the advice of the yetzer hara, which tries to weaken our strength and to stop us taking action.

When we follow the good advice of the Simple One, this builds trust in Hashem’s kindness in our hearts, and then we feel His love for us and His personal Divine supervision over us.

[1] A reference to Rabbi Nachman’s famous story of ‘The Clever One and The Simple One’.

Excerpted from: “From the Depths: Advice on how to deal with the challenges of everyday life. From the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov“, by Rav Ofer Erez.


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