Baseless Emunah by Michael Winner/6/22/2022 I received a call from a good friend of mine on erev Shabbos. Just a friendly call to catch up on things. He told me an interesting story which relates to this week's parsha.My friend learns in the morning and works as a sofer writing parshios for tefillin in the afternoon (in fact, he even wrote my son's, and I was told by somebody who saw them that they are excellent). However, due to several things that happened to him at once, he ended up falling behind on his work. So, for a certain amount of time, he had to skip his daily morning learning schedule to write all day in order to catch up with his orders.One morning, when he went to daven, somebody who usually sits and learns near him asked him where he's been. My friend explained the situation and why he hasn't been around too much. This person, a very learned person, responded, "Why should you give up on your learning? Perhaps you should give a little extra tzedakah and daven that Hashem gives you extra 'power' to be able to accomplish twice as much in the same amount of time."When I heard this, my first "question" was: Does this person support himself or does somebody else? Obviously, the question does not need to be asked.When my friend spoke to his rav about this, his rav responded, "Make sure you get to write the parshios for his son's tefillin when he becomes bar mitzvah, and when he complains that you're late and the bar mitzvah is coming up soon, you can reply, 'I'm giving tzedakah as fast as I can!'"Not surprisingly, his rav said that my friend was right. He took upon himself an obligation to write tefillin by a certain date and he must fulfil that obligation.In this week's parsha, we see two forms of emunah (faith). One is real emunah and one is fake emunah. When the spies returned from their travels in Eretz Yisroel, they and the entire nation, despite all the dangers which they think they will encounter when they enter the land, needed to have emunah that Hashem will fulfill His promise that He will take care of any dangers. Why? Because Hashem said he would. In this, they failed.As a punishment, none of that generation would enter Eretz Yisroel (with few exceptions).The next day, a group woke up, said, "We did tshuvah! We understand that we made a mistake! We'll go now and conquer the land!" To which Moshe replied, "Don't do it, Hashem is not with you! You'll only end up getting yourselves killed!"To which they got up, made an attack, and got themselves killed.For a person to have real emunah, the emunah has to be based on SOMETHING. If Hashem makes a promise, we can, and should, have emunah that He will fulfill it. When Hashem doesn't make a promise, then there is no real emunah.We see this with all the "Moshiach talk" that goes on. Hashem made a promise that He will send Moshiach at the right time. Therefore, we must have emunah that Hashem will send Moshiach at the right time. He did NOT promise that He will send Moshiach at a certain time or before or after a certain event that we clearly know of. Hence, any "emunah" that Moshiach is coming because of this or that event, is simply … not emunah.Similarly, there is a lot of "Emunah talk," which encourages people to sit back and "have emunah." Sometimes, a person has no choice but to sit back. But often, he must do his full amount of hishtadlus to make something he needs happen. A person who decides to put all his money in some random stock and have emunah that Hashem will take care of him is not called a person with emunah. He is called an idiot. A person who has trouble with a child and refuses to seek advice or seek help for the child and instead simply davens, is not called a person with emunah … perhaps "murderer" is a more proper title.A person who researches or even pays a competent person to research for him, where to place his money, can afterwards have emunah that Hashem will take care of him. And if he loses money, he's still not called an idiot, because he did whatever he could do. Hashem will still take care of him, perhaps though, not through the stock market.With my friend, the situation is no different. According to the Torah, he took an obligation to accomplish a certain task by a certain time, and get paid for it. There is no promise from Hashem that if he davens for it and gives tzedakah and not do his best to fulfill his obligation, that Hashem will give him magical powers. Therefore, this individual is wrong: there is no basis for emunah.Emunah is a very touchy subject. And there is no "one size fits all" formula for everybody. For one person, something might be called emunah, while for another, it might not be. But one should be very careful to know at least if there is a basis to have emunah. After deciding that there is or is not, one can move in the appropriate manner.Have a wonderful Shabbos!