A number of years ago, I did an interview for Mishpacha Magazine with Rav Taubenfeld, Shlita, the Rosh of all the chaburas in Square, New Square, who was visiting Israel. Two years before that, his wife and infant child had been blown up and killed in the bus bombing near Zvil, not far from Chut Shel Chesed. He was visiting for the yahrtzeit and they asked me to interview him.
It was a big chizuk in bitochon for me. This is an excerpt:
“I can tell you a number of things I’ve learned from this.
First of all, this is very hard to go through. If a person has an illness, your prepare yourself, one way or another, for it. We didn’t have any preparation time. We could have become traumatized.
My father and mother both went through the Holocaust.
They always told us stories about emuna and bitochon, trusting Hashem. My father told me, often, that he remembered that an old Vizhnitzer Chasid told him that if you will learn books like “Chovos HaLevovos,” ShaarHaBitochon, over and over again, all the time, then if, chas v’Shalom, something goes wrong, you’ll go through it.
He said you can’t start “Chovos HaLevovos” after the problem, but you have to start many years before. This is what my father was always saying, ever since I was a child. This is how we tried to raise our family. Emuna in Hashem, emuna in Chachamim. (Our wise teachers and role models).
This isn’t from me alone. It’s from my father, my mother, my grandfather.
And from my father-in-law who lost everything in the Shoah. He was alone afterwards, and now, bli ayn hara, he has close to 200 grandchildren. Every Pesach, for 20 years, I was by his Seder. Every single Pesach it was all about this: “Have emuna! Have emuna!” He sang this to us. We drank it. We learned that children have to hear this from the time they’re one year old. About emunas Hashem and stories of emunas Chachamim. If they hear it when they’re small, they’ll grow up with good roots.”
Since that time, I started daily learning of Shaar HaBitochon in Chovos HaLevavos.
I divided it myself into 30 sections and go through it every month. I’ve had long periods of time when I was steady with it, and long periods when I wasn’t, but I always get back to it. It’s available in English. Maybe there’s something that will work better for others, but this has been good to me.