Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Understanding Pain - Part 1

The following question was submitted anonymously using the form on the right.

When trying to help a loved one in a time of nisayon, its so easy for you to just say "it's from Hashem". But when you are the one going through a nisayon, knowing its all from Hashem doesn't make you feel any better. Although you know its from Hashem, the next world seems so far off and you can't imagine why He is putting you through this. What can help you, in your moment of pain, realize that everything is really for the best?

This is a really important question. Sometimes, it's so much easier to give other people chizuk when they are going through hard times. To tell them that "it's all from Hashem and it's for the best". But when it comes to your own personal trials and tests it's not so easy. All of a sudden it hits you and you say "Why? Why Hashem are you doing this to me??"

I once heard someone say that a person should not have emunah for someone else. When someone you know is going through a difficult time, you should not be saying, "don't worry it's all gonna work out in the end." No! You should be doing all you can to help them out as if they depend on YOU only for the thing they need! You shouldn't say, "Hashem will send you your shidduch/the job you need/the friends you need..." You should go out there and try your best to do whatever you can to help them out! Don't have emunah for them that it's gonna work out - YOU do what YOU can to make it happen! And if you can't do anything to help them (You don't know any potential candidates/you don't have the right connections to help them find a job...) then you should daven your heart out to Hashem to bring them their yeshuah.

But when it comes to your own nisyonos, your own tests, that's when you need to strengthen your emunah that everything comes from Him. So what should you think? What should you tell yourself to help pull you through?

Everyone has hardships. Know that you are not the only one. People may look like everything is going well on the outside but each and every person is experiencing challenges and every person needs to strengthen their trust in Hashem.

It says Es asher ye'ehav yochi'ach - Hashem sends challenges to those that He loves. Know that if Hashem is putting you through a hard time it's because HE LOVES YOU!! He wants to connect to you and He wants you to turn to Him. So when things are going fine and dandy it's easy to forget about Hashem. But when things don't go the way you want them to, that's when all of a sudden you remember, "Hey! Hashem is the One that runs my life! He's the One who made this happen. I should really turn to Him and ask Him to get me out of this."

It's like the classic father-son mashal. (Imagine the days before cell phones for a minute.)
The son is away at college and gets a monthly allowance along with a letter from his father updating him on what's going on in the family. The son cashes the check and spends the money. He doesn't write home to tell his father how he's doing. He's too busy studying and spending time with his friends.
But the father misses his son. He wants to hear from him. So one month he sends the letter without a check.
The son feels silly writing a letter asking the father for money without saying anything else. So he writes a letter telling his father how he's doing and updates him on how his studies are going. And he ends of the letter with a "by the way...did you forget to send the check this month?"
This is what his father was waiting for! He wanted to hear from his son because he missed him!! The son could think, Why did my father hold back the money from me? Doesn't he know I need it? Doesn't he love me?
But that's precisely why he didn't send the money - BECAUSE he wanted to hear from his son!!

And it's the same with us and Hashem - sometimes He may hold something back from you or puts you through certain situations just to get you to turn to Him. He loves you and misses hearing from you! He misses that close connection and so He reminds you that He's here - close by - just turn to ME because I'm the only One who can help you!!

To be continued...


  1. B'Siyata D'ShmayaJanuary 26, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Wow, thanks! I really liked that mashal, it really puts things into perspective. Knowing that Hashem wants to hear from us is a concept that we all intellectually know, but gave me much more clarity on the reality of it.
    Whoever asked the question, I'm glad that you did! I learned from it, too!
    Thank you Devoiry for answering that question so well and clearly!

  2. thank you devoiry!whoever posted that question knows what real life means-and she wants clarity with no jokes.
    devoiry thank you for reminding us all of the emunah we still need to work on ingraining in ourselves. at the same time we cant be all "rightous" on someone elses account.
    i think rabbi miller from gateshead says that when Hashem sends you a test, that is your moment to work on your emunah. when you see he sends a test to someone else, that is not the time to say aibeshter bahelfin THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO PRACTICE CHESSED. thank you for helping us retain our emunah yet being sensitive to the needs of yenem.

    what you said on that point:
    by a bris my mother (like most) asked the rabbi to give me a bracha for hatzlacha, shidduch.
    right after that i saw him already asking people "do you know any...."
    when one person told him, "yes Hashem will find it" the rabbi said yes of course he is and #1 we might be the shaliach and #2 i live in the world of asiah not machshovah!"

    standing there i was thinking, that's someone that cares

    thank you for this wonderful blog!
    it almost justifies the internet

  3. Fantastic post! I think you might have even said it better then R' Freeman (shhhh don't tell him I said that ;) )

  4. BSD-thank you. I'm so glad you gained from it because it's something we all need to hear. Everyone goes through pain in their lives and we are all searching for answers...

    lifebee-yes, that's just it! Our own tests is an opportunity to strengthen our emunah in Hashem. Other people's test are a chance for us to help them get out of it!! Well said!
    And that's a great story - and it happened to you so it's even better 'cuz it's true! That really says a lot about the Rabbi! Wow!

    Elle-awww, thanks! ;-)


You made it to the end of this post! What do you think about it?