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Priceless Pain

Rabbi Yehoshua Alt

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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Priceless Pain

Obviously, course we don’t ask Hashem for suffering but the following can give us an enlightened perspective. A chassid that was enduring an immense amount of pain came to his Rebbe for a bracha to relieve him of his suffering. The Rebbe was unavailable and so he waited there for the Rebbe. The chassid fell asleep in the waiting room and had the following dream. In the dream, he ascends to heaven where he was being judged. He sees the scale of his mitzvos and avairos. There are hundreds of black malachim created from sins which they place on one side of the scale. On the other side of the scale, the white malachim place his mitzvos. However, the avairos outweigh the mitzvos. Since he endured suffering in his life, it counters some of his sins. Still, the avairos outweigh the mitzvos. Then he screams out, “please give me more suffering.” Suddenly, he wakes up and the gabbai tells him the Rebbe is ready to see you and give you a bracha for your suffering. The chassid declines and says, “I don’t need a bracha for that anymore.”


The story is told of a Jew that rented an apartment for 10,000 dollars per year which he would pay annually. Once, the landlord took a trip to a distant country and so he appointed an assistant who would collect the annual payment. This assistant was an anti-semite and he raised the rent to 11,000 dollars. The Jew was unable to afford the raise in rent but he managed to come up with 10,900 dollars. The assistant told the Jew that for each missing dollar, he will receive three lashes. And so, because 100 dollars was missing from the rent, the Jew received 300 lashes. When the landlord returned from his trip the Jew told him what transpired. The landlord was upset and told his Jewish tenant that for every lash you received, you will get four dollars from the assistant. So, for 100 lashes, you will get 400 dollars from the assistant. And that is what happened. When the Jew arrived home, his wife saw that he was sad. He tells her about the money he received which leaves his wife bewildered as to why he was sad. He explained, “If I would have received 500 lashes, I would have received 2,000 dollars!” The lesson is that for each drop of pain, one will receive a lot more “money” in heaven.

Author of Three Books

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