Rav Avigdor Miller on Emunah and Bitachon
What’s the difference between emunah and bitachon?
Emunah and bitachon are related; however they are two separate things.
Bitachon means to know that Hakodosh Boruch Hu is in charge of the world. And especially that He’s in charge of the affairs of the Jewish people, and every Jew. הוא השם אלקינו – He’s ours, בכל הארץ משפטיו – and whatever He does in this world are His judgments as Elokeinu, as our Hashem.
Bitachon means awareness. Now I can’t tell you on one foot — it’s a very big subject — but bitachon means Hashem knows what is best for you. Many times something happens that you don’t like, but the truth is that it’s for your benefit. Many time you look back on your career, and you see things that happened, and at the moment you were disappointed, and later you discovered that it was essential for you, important for you. Knowing that Hakodosh Boruch Hu is doing only kindliness to you, that’s part of bitachon. So bitachon means that you make yourself aware of these truths, that you know them. And if you want to know, then you have to study it — it’s not so simple. You have to study the Sha’ar Habitachon in the Chovos Halevavos.
Of course, emunah comes in too because emunah means loyalty to the subject. Emunah means to be steadfast, to be loyal to the truths that you know. Once you gained bitachon, you have to be loyal to the bitachon. Emunah means being loyal to the principles that you learned and living life according to those principles.