תָּמִים תִּהְיֶה, עִם ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ (דברים יח:יג)
Thou shalt be whole-hearted with the LORD thy G-d (Devarim 18:13)
The Torah demands of us to have simple faith in what HaKadosh Baruch Hu does. We live in a time when people find it difficult to trust one another in all matters of life; trusting Hashem is also weak and demands strengthening.
The story is told of a poor man who came to Reb Mordechai Benet, complaining of his plight and needing parnasa. Reb Mordechai listened to the man’s difficulties, and then told him to buy a lottery ticket. Rav Mordechai himself said he would daven that the man win the lottery. The efficacy of Reb Mordechai’s prayers were well known, so the poor man and his family rejoiced. The night before the drawing, the poor family was so confident in Reb Mordechai’s ability that they decided to prove to their friends how reliable his tefillos would be by holding a mock drawing. As could be expected, the ticket of the poor man won this mock lottery. On the morrow, when the real lottery took place, the man lost the lottery, surprising everyone in the village. The poor man went back to Reb Mordechai to tell him what happened. Reb Mordechai was also surprised and asked the poor man to recount the incidents that led up to the drawing. When the poor man told Reb Mordechai about the mock drawing, Reb Mordechai said “I davened that you win the next drawing of the lots, and you used the zechuyos of my prayers on your mock drawing, which you did in fact win!”
The lesson is that although a person may have faith, he may lose what he deserves because he is trying to prove that Hashem is with him, either to himself or others. If this poor man would have been secure in the tefillos of Reb Mordechai, he would not have felt it necessary to prove it, thereby squandering his zechuyos.
In general, we are supposed to have full bitachon in Hashem. However, as we start the month of Elul, we blow the shofar to activate in ourselves the feeling of uncertainty, for without teshuva, there is no guarantee what the results of our upcoming judgement will be. At this juncture this unsettled feeling can give us the adrenalin needed to use Elul properly, and to do teshuva. Then we can rest assured that we will have a year of temimos with HaKadosh Baruch Hu, meaning, we will receive what is best for us in our current situation.