Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayeishev

Facing the Challenge

By Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig

“Yaakov (Jacob) settled in the land of his father’s sojourns, in the land of Canaan.” (Beraishis/ Genesis 37:1) As the term “settled” is inconsistent with the Torah’s usual verbiage, Rashi notes, “Yaakov sought to dwell in tranquility, but then the ordeal of Yosef (Joseph) was thrust upon him. The righteous seek to dwell in tranquility: the Holy One Blessed is He said, ‘Do the righteous not consider that which is prepared for them in the World to Come to be enough for them that they seek to dwell in tranquility in this world as well?’” G-d decided that despite Yaakov’s righteousness he should suffer the twenty-two year ordeal of believing Yosef was dead. This suffering was not a punishment for misdeeds; why did G-d want to afflict Yaakov in such a way?

The Talmud (Brachos 5a) teaches: If a person suffers, he should check his deeds to find what he may be doing wrong. If he finds nothing wrong he should assume he wasted Torah study time (i.e. perhaps he is not proactively doing the right things he should). If he finds that he is wasting no such time then his afflictions are afflictions of Divine love. In what way is causing people to suffer an expression of G-d’s love?

Malbim (1) explains that through one’s trials he becomes an improved person. It is only by facing life’s challenges that he can actualize his potential. Furthermore, by overcoming this test he can serve as a role model and is in a better position to help and guide others in their time of need. While we can never completely understand why G-d runs the world the way He does, we can gain some invaluable insights. Our Sages teach us that this world is comparable to a corridor leading to the next world (Avos 4:21). Our life’s objective is to realize our potential in this world to achieve the true spiritual rewards for our good deeds in the world to come. We think we would love to be able to do so without suffering, but in truth, we understand that an extra push is often needed to encourage our growth and to help others do the same.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) acronym for (Rabbi) Meir Leibush ben Yechiel Michel; 1809-1879; Rabbi in Germany, Romania and Russia, he was one of the preeminent modern Bible commentators, often demonstrating how the Oral Tradition is implicit in the Torah’s text.


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies · 5007 West Keefe Avenue · Milwaukee, Wisconsin · 414-447-7999


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Avram Lifted Up His Hand...So That You Not Say
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

It's All About Redemption Part III
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

The Moral of the Story
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

To The Place G-d Will Show Us
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Our Future Lies in Chevron
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Go Away!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

ArtScroll

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
- 5769

He Thinks Highly of You
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5775

Lech Lecha: Avraham "Our Father"
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Fuzzy Picture
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Participating in G-ds Master Plan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Reward May Come
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

> An Uplifting Experience
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Lucky Man
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

That Fire Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

The Wandering Jew
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information