Not to Ask Why

I have been diminished by all the kindness and by all the truth that You have done Your servant (Beresheet 32:11)

Hashem promised Yaakov that He would protect him from all harm. Yet we see that Yaakov lived from one test to another, from one trial to the next tribulation. One might expect a complaint or a demand for explanation. On the other hand, we see that Yaakov lived with perfect emunah and accepted all that he suffered with consistent, strong faith. At every turn he acknowledges that Hashem has undeservedly gifted him all that he had.

Ramban had a student who was terminally ill. The Rabbi gave the ill person an amulet with kabbalistic codes inside. He told him that after he passes on, the amulet will open the gates of Heaven for him, and requested that the student ascend On High and ask some questions about the affliction of our nation in his time.

A short time later, the student appeared to his Rabbi in a dream and told him that he had followed instructions. However, when he broke through to the higher spheres, there were no questions. Everything was understandable and perfect.

Today, Judaic society is infatuated with the concept of emunah. Even those who are non-observant will seek blessings from Torah Sages and will seek segulot to solve all their ills. Books and recordings on the subject have become the “hot item” in the marketplace of Judaica. Everyone is looking for something to explain the unexplainable events in these days of the “footsteps of Moshiach.” What true emunah means is that one accepts ALL that Hashem does with total belief that it is for the best.

Everyone suffers in this world at one time or another and to a degree determined by Our Creator and His Heavenly Tribunal. Belief in the veracity of this principle is one of the basic tenets of emunah — faith. One is commanded to walk perfectly with Hashem (Devarim 18:13). That means one should accept without question that His judgment is perfect and that all that occurs is “fair,” even when it doesn’t seem so based on our perspective (Rashi, loc. cit.).

Although many can maintain strong emunah when comfortable and thriving, when they themselves suffer, especially for an extended time, they begin to ask questions. “Why me?”, “Why this?” and “Why now?” lead the list, but questions abound in many other forms as well. Once a person starts to ask “Why?,” the list never ends. Although in one’s heart one knows Hashem could, chas v’shalom, inflict much more pain and a greater level of suffering, nevertheless, what is delivered creates a feeling of isolation and fear in the hearts of the victims. Truth is, one should find comfort in the fact that Hashem has not forgotten him — He is dealing with him. The purpose of the test is spiritual growth. Don’t question the test — pass it!

Shabbat shalom.