Daf Yomi Kesubos 30
Jephthah was a mighty warrior who led the Children of Israel to victory over their enemies. He was a man of faith, who despite the misfortune and challenges in his life – including being rejected from his own family – maintained his belief in G-d.
Prior to the great battle, he turned his eyes Heavenward and vowed, “If you will deliver the Amonites into my hand, whatever comes forth from my house to greet me when I return in peace, shall be for G-d, and I shall offer it up as a sacrifice.”
Upon his return home, his only daughter came out to greet him. And Jephthah, the man of faith, tragically could not be persuaded to annul his vow.
King Solomon declares in Proverbs, “Cold and heat are in the path of the wayward; one who protects himself will keep his distance from them.”
The Beraisa states: Everything is in the Hands of Heaven except for sickness due to cold or heat.
The prophet Habakkuk declares, “The righteous lives by his faith.” When you place your life into G-d’s hands, you realize that He controls the world and He ordains what shall be. There’s no point getting frustrated or angry. The righteous live with the faith that G-d knows what He is doing.
Nevertheless, you can’t be foolish with your faith. Jephthah acted out of line by attributing the fulfilment of his ridiculous vow to his supreme faith in G-d. It’s like the fellow who walks out onto the busy highway blindfolded saying that G-d will protect him.
Thus, King Solomon enjoins us to protect ourselves from the heat and the cold. The Talmud explains that G-d will protect us, unless we act carelessly. At which point, you’re on your own, mate. You can’t blame your broken bones on G-d, when the parachute failed to open from your skydive. You chose the extreme behaviour.
The good news is your Father in Heaven is full of mercy. Parents will tend to their kids’ wounds even when they’re self-inflicted. And so King David declares in Psalms, “G-d protects the foolish.” Even when we act foolishly, G-d is there to save us. But still that doesn’t mean that you should act recklessly and simply trust in G-d to save. G-d much prefers it when you use your head and act within reason!
The easiest path through life is one that is taken holding G-d’s hand. Through the good times and the bad, you know that your Father in Heaven is in control. But don’t treat the relationship lightly – trust in G-d doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you like, however silly and inappropriate. May you merit infusing your life with trust in G-d but always ensuring that you are doing your part to lead a wholesome, safe and secure life!