I will flee from You -Toward You,
I will take shelter from Your wrath – In Your shadow
(Rabbeinu Shlomo Ibin Gabriel, piyut from the Rosh HaShana davening)
The Brisker Rav explains: True bitachon is not trusting Hashem while unaware of the danger present. Rather, bitachon is when one fully appreciates the danger in which he is in and despite it he still places his trust in Hashem that He will save him. Therefore, before the Yomim Nora’im, prior to ones running towards Hashem and placing his trust in Him that He will judge him favorably, one must run away from Him so to speak, fully realizing the danger his shortcomings have placed him in. However, where does a Jew have to flee, if not his Father in Heaven?
The Brisker Rov says that this concept is brought out in the words of the Rambam (Pirush HaMishnayos, Rosh HaShana Chap. 4) “They [Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur] are days of service, subjugation, fright, and being in awe and fear of Hashem and fleeing from and towards Him.”
This concept is beautifully brought out every morning during the month of Elul. As Shacharis comes to a close we blow the shofar to instill in us the fear of the approaching day of judgment as the pasuk (Amos 3:6) states, “Will a shofar blast in the city and a people not tremble in fear?” However, we immediately follow with the words of Dovid HaMelech, “LeDovid Hashem ori v’yishi mimi ira – Hashem is my light and my salvation, from whom can I fear?” Whenever we tremble in fear, we can turn to our Father in Heaven for shelter.
Other parts to this series: Inspiration in Bitachon