Control – Steps
Although man has free will to decide on his course of action, it still remains in Hashem’s power to let him carry out his projects (take the physical steps along the route he has planned) or to prevent him.
‘כד = מִצְעֲדֵי גָבֶר וְאָדָם מַה יָּבִין דַּרְכּוֹ מֵה
(24) The steps of man are from Hashem,
for what does a man understand of his own way?
The physical capacity to carry out a man’s decision comes from Hashem. If in His ultimate wisdom, He wishes a different turn of events, He has only to prevent the man physically from carrying out his decision. Since human perception is limited, the man may feel frustrated at this blocking of his will. Thus, he may not understand why his way must be other than his original intent.
(24) From Hashem — מֵה’
are the steps of man. — מִצְעֲדֵי גָבֶר
As for man himself — וְאָדָם
what does he understand — מַה יָּבִין
of his way? — דַּרְכּוֹ
 Although the physical action is provided to man (גָבֶר) by Hashem, it depends on man himself (אָדָם) understanding the purpose of the action and initiating it. (הגר”א)
 Because Hashem has the final say over the actual action, it is up to man to hope and pray for Divine help to ensure that the action is in man’s interest and to make it happen appropriately.” (רבינו יונה)
NOTE: For a PDF copy of this segment, please click on the blue title below.
This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article.