Question:

Why do you think that a person like me, a baalas teshuva, who never really felt an attachment to the secular path, have to be faced by G-d with difficulties/battles to reach the level of spirituality/observant life. “Not questioning G-d and only for understanding purposes asked” and others be simply inserted into religious homes by birth and not struggle as hard as those with need to fight for what’s right for ex. me? I’m overwhelmed in comprehending this annoying matter.

Thank you.

Answer:

You are asking a very important question, and I am happy that you have the courage, and are not bashful to ask. What is bothering you, is a question that has been asked even thousands of years ago albeit in different forms. Dovid Hamelech asked from H-shem, “Why is it that the wicked proper, and the righteous have it difficult in this world”? Shouldn’t it be the exact opposite- those who do H-shem’s will should have a prosperous life, and the wicked should not be given “presents” for their wickedness? In fact, throughout the generations tis question has been asked again and again, and there are numerous answers to it, however we will discuss the question from the angle that you are asking it. You want to know, I never really sinned, so why do I have difficulties in life?

The prophet Isiah chap. 55 saysכִּי לֹא מַחְשְׁבוֹתַי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיכֶם וְלֹא דַרְכֵיכֶם דְּרָכָי נְאֻם ד’: כִּי גָבְהוּ שָׁמַיִם מֵאָרֶץ כֵּן גָּבְהוּ דְרָכַי מִדַּרְכֵיכֶם וּמַחְשְׁבֹתַי מִמַּחְשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם: For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your says H-shem. The same way the heavens are above the earth, so too My ways are above your ways, and My thoughts are above yours. When we look at things we look at them from a very narrow lens, we only see the now, and we only see ourselves, we also don’t know the history of our neshoma, and the destination of where our neshoma has to get to. We don’t even know what is the purpose that we were created and sent into this world in the first place. After all if H-shem created us, it is only reasonable that he did it for a certain purpose? Not only that, but we only see what our physical eyes can see, we don’t see the rest of the world, and surely not any of the other worlds or galaxies that H-shem has created. Therefore the first thing we have to do is not just to mentally understand, but to also understand this emotionally, (which is not easy), that H-shem, who created the whole universe, us and our situation, understands things much better and deeper then we do. We have do develop an attitude, exactly as you asked, that we are not complaining, but only looking to understand better, to the best that us limited humans can understand, from our limited perspective, and we have to realize that (at least in this world) we will never fully understand H-shem’s ways.

Nevertheless, how do we get a better understanding. One of the ways to understand this a bit more is to understand that everyone has a purpose why he/she was sent to this world, and what we are meant to accomplish? Now can we know this without getting specific instructions as to what MY specific job, and MY personal perfection is in this world? The answer is that each person is created with different circumstances, are born into different situations, are given different families, friends, talents, personalities, and are thrown different life experiences. All of these things are a guide from heaven, and tailor made for us to know what our job in life it to accomplish. We are to use our life, from the angle that H-shem put us in, and build from there. For example, part of your job in this world, was specifically to be created, with the family that you were born into, and to deal with the difficulties that it brings. You did a great job so far, and you accomplished the crucially important step of were realizing that you have to make big changes from the way you were born. That is great, and in the next world you will be rewarded tremendously for it, because you choose G-d even though it is not the easy, convenient path to take. Nevertheless, the job is far from over, there are still many things for you to overcome. We were sent to this world to accomplish many things, and as we go through life, we will be presented with the different goals. Very much like a delivery man, that has a list of errands to accomplish, he starts off the day, and goes to one place, does what he has to, then to the next place, and so on.

Rabeinu Bachya (Deutoronomy 22-8) brings an eye-opening, life changing Midrash, that has potential to help all of us though all of our difficulties. The Midrash that before a person’s neshoma is sent down to this world, it is shown exactly ALL of the difficulties that it will go through. If it will be rich or poor, all the tribulations and situations that it will go through, and even exactly how it will exit this world. After it is shown all of this, it is asked, do you agree to all of this? Then (and knowing what the purpose of its life, its job etc.) the neshoma happily agrees, and only after that does the neshoma come down to this world!! Therefore, not only does G-d know the purpose of our difficulties, but we also knew their purpose, and how it is beneficial to us.

For example, it is well known that often a soul will be sent back to this world in order to atone and accomplish things that it didn’t accomplish in its past life. Since it has a specific goal to accomplish, it needs certain conditions, that other people don’t have, because they were sent here to accomplish a different job. When our neshoma was still in heaven, it understood quite well, why it has to come back here, and in fact it is quite excited, to be able to accomplish its job, therefore it readily agreed to all the challenges and difficulties that it knew were going to happen to it. The only problem is, that once it enters this world, it has to forget all of this, (otherwise all challenges wouldn’t be real), however we strengthen ourselves with the knowledge of this, that at the end of the day we are on good hands, the kind hands of H-shem, and that He knows what is best for us.

I hope that this gives you some clarity, as these ideas are important to internalize, and if you need to discuss it more, feel free to ask.

Best wishes

Tags: Emunah

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