What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

You can sit, relax, and be passive. But why in the world would you? You have a relationship with G-d!

David Sheyman

Judaism Haredi soldiers learning Torah
Haredi soldiers learning Torah

What would you do if you knew that you could not fail? Most people would come up with extravagant responses like, “I would open up my own business,” “I would find the cure for cancer”, etc. However, most of us don’t pursue these dreams. Why? We are scared of failure. It is much easier to sit back in our personal Mitzraim. Yes, life isn’t lived to its full potential, but we are comfortable. What if while wondering into the desert of the unknown we will starve and want to turn back?  

Perhaps, if I were a purely practical person, I would lock myself up in my room and never leave it. That way I won’t get sick, heartbroken, or experience stress. Yes, it’s boring, but nothing bad can happen. However, Hashem has expectations from us. Hashem expected us to kill the Egyptian god, the lamb, in broad daylight. Afterwards He expected us to get up and leave our homes to wander into a desert filled with snakes, scorpions, and evil nations. And later on, He expected us to conquer a land filled with giants.

Were we big fighters? No, not particularly. The one time a year a Jew makes a fist is on Yom Kippur, and we end up striking our own chest.  The point is, Hashem does not want us to lock ourselves up in a room and live a meaningless life. Hashem expected us to go forth and have emunah, emunah that if He expects something from us, if He promises something to us, then we must do it, and He will fulfill it. 

If we look back at the story of Noach, it is there that Hashem promised us, “I will establish my covenant with you and will not cut off all flesh any more by the waters of the Flood; never again will there be a Flood to destroy the earth.” (Bereishis 9:8, 11).

What is so amazing about this covenant between us and Hashem? If you really think about it, no matter how far away we move from Hashem, He will not destroy us. He is giving us as much time as we need to come closer to Him. Essentially, Hashem said that He wants a relationship with us no matter what we do. And in this day and age, that is a big advantage because if Hashem judged us to the tee we would all be on the barbeque pit.  

And so, I ask the question again, what would you do if you could not fail? Yes, you can sit, relax, and be passive. But why in the world would you? We have access to a relationship with the Creator of the world. And He let us in on a good deal: no matter what we do, He will not destroy us. Even more importantly, He gave us the means to communicate to Him: the Torah.

In fact, Hashem told Noah, "Come into the ark, you and all your household.” The Hebrew word for ark, teva, also means word. Hashem commanded Noah to enter His word, His Torah. And so, we must enter Hashem’s Torah; we must study it and live it. The Torah is our communication device, our cellphone, if you will, by which we speak to Hashem and He speaks to us.

No matter how many times we slip and fall, Hashem will not forsake us. Even in our exile He will not forsake us, and ultimately, He will bring us back to our land. And we will come back like dreamers, as if we had never been in exile. The founder of the Emunah Channel, Rav Dror, once said, “Who do you think you are that Hashem cannot forgive you?”

We all have our moral shortcomings. And yet, Hashem desires the return of even the greatest sinner. Keep climbing to Hashem, for He is not a destination. We are not Buddhist, we do not reach a state of perfection; nirvana. Rather, we are in a relationship with Hashem, a relationship that He will not forsake, and we cannot forsake. We can be reminded, harshly at times, but fail we cannot. Hashem promised us this. We must take every opportunity as a new one to connect to our Master, for Hashem creates the world anew each moment. So, let us enter His ark, His word, and let us cling to His commandments with all our might, for they are ours no matter who we are, and let us reveal the G-dliness of Hashem’s creation.