Avraham Avinu reached the pinnacle of avodas Hashem, service of Hashem, during the Akeidas Yitzchak. He was asked to act upon his boundless love for Hashem by demonstrating his willingness to offer his beloved son Yitzchak as a sacrifice. The enthusiasm, zeal, and love which Avraham demonstrated throughout this endeavor continue to serve as an eternal merit for his children until this day. The Midrash portrays Yitzchak as a partner equal to his father throughout this major trial fully aware of what was transpiring.
The Midrash relates that the Satan cleverly attempted to lure the pair into failure in their mission. After failing to dissuade Avraham, he turned to Yitzchak hoping to deter him from continuing towards the successful achievement of his goal. In an attempt to dissuade Yitzchak, he presented many convincing arguments, all in vain. The Satan then daringly asserted, that following Yitzchak’s death all of his prized possessions would revert to Yishmael, his half-brother. Surprisingly, this argument caused Yitzchak to hesitate momentarily. Although he continued to walk with his father, he haltingly questioned him concerning the location of the sacrificial lamb.
Horav A.H. Lebowitz, Shlita, cites this Midrash with great emphasis. From the vast storehouse of the Satan’s arsenal, the only weapon capable of piercing Yitzchak’s defenses to bring about a hesitancy in his alacrity to serve Hashem was a small dose of kinah, jealousy. Yitzchak stood prepared to offer himself as an “olah temimah” – perfect sacrifice to Hashem. The thought of Yishmael usurping his inheritance, however, allowed a small vestige of jealously to awaken within him. Even the delicate, selfless Yitzchak was momentarily stirred, ever so slightly, by the evil passion of jealousy.
There is but one way to effectively resist the powerful force of jealousy. It is through total dedication to Hashem. By establishing a binding allegiance to Him, one can overcome the constraints of jealousy. When one exercises his bitachon, faith, in Hashem, he never feels threatened by any situation or deprived of any material possession. His faith in Hashem enables him to wholeheartedly believe that Hashem will take care of him in every respect.
True bitachon must be inexorable. The Chazon Ish states that the storekeeper who proclaims his devout trust in Hashem when things are going well, only to complain bitterly when a competitor opens a business down the block, does not have complete bitachon. Faith in Hashem which is sincere sustains one through the bad times as well as the good times. When inundated with life’s trials and tribulations, one must reach out to his storehouse of faith, to confront and quell pangs of doubt and jealousy. One who trusts in Hashem will, in turn, triumph in His salvation.