Good God – Why the Pain & Suffering? A Good Year to Come.

Shana Tova!

A good year to all!

This is the time that we wish others a Happy New Year. Rosh Hashana is the day that all people in the world are judged according to their deeds.

Now is a New Year. Last Year it was Year 5780. This Year it is 5781.

The Jewish Year Differs from other calendars in various aspects.

1. Our Year is based upon the Lunar & Solar Year.

2. The Months are calculated according to the Synodic Month – the time it takes for the Moon to circle the earth. Our Months are usually 29 – 30 days.

3. We add a month (Adar II) 7 times in 19 years to adjust for the discrepancy between the lunar & solar year.

4. Our Year starts in the Jewish Month of Tishrei. (Around September).

5. Our Year corresponds to the amount of years from the creation of the world.

Why the Difficulties?

The Past Year was a Challenging year to say the least.

Everything is in the Torah. There is an allusion to last year – 5780 -in the Torah (Vayikra / Leviticus 23:43)

וְהָאָרֶץ֩ תֵּעָזֵ֨ב מֵהֶ֜ם וְתִ֣רֶץ אֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתֶ֗יהָ בָּהְשַׁמָּה֙ מֵהֶ֔ם וְהֵ֖ם יִרְצ֣וּ אֶת־עֲוֺנָ֑ם יַ֣עַן וּבְיַ֔עַן בְּמִשְׁפָּטַ֣י מָאָ֔סוּ וְאֶת־חֻקֹּתַ֖י גָּעֲלָ֥ה נַפְשָֽׁם׃

For the land shall be forsaken of them, making up for its sabbath years by being desolate of them, while they atone for their iniquity; for the abundant reason that they rejected My rules and spurned My laws.

the Numerical Value of the word “Ya-An” –  יַ֣עַן
is 780. Yud = 10, Ayin = 70, Nun Sofit = 700.

In Two Sefarim – One by the Chatam Sofer / Chasam Sofer (on the Parasha) and One by Rabbi Netanel son of Yeshaya (from Yemen in his sefer / book the Meor HaAfela) we learn that 5780 will be a difficult year.

“190 years ago, the Chatam Sofer said that 5780 would be an difficult year, and that 5781 would be a year when the poor man (the Jewish People) would be raised up from the garbage.”

In a certain site it describes the situation thus:

“Rebbe Nachman says that when Moshiach comes there will be such a tumult in the world, that people are not going to know what’s happening. They’re going to lose themselves and be completely confused. Only those who are holding on to the tzaddik (Righteous Torah Sage) will know what’s happening. And in another place he says that only those who do regular hisbodedus (Self-introspection), personal prayer to Hashem, will be able to experience redemption as something good, everyone else will be confused.


Reasons For Suffering

The simple reason why we suffer is because G-d is our loving Father. He wants a person to have a relationship with Him. A relationship with Hash-m / G-d also happens to be the greatest pleasure one can have. Thus when suffering is sent from above it may be for one of more reason:

  1. G-d runs the world Middah Keneged Middah – What one does comes back to him or her. If one is kind – kindness pursues him or her. This is the nature in the spiritual world.
  2. G-d is punishing an individual for past deeds.
  3. G-d wants a person to wake up and follow Torah (The 613 commandments for Jews or the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah for Gentiles / non-Jews)
  4. Lefum tzaara agra – According to the pain is the reward. (Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers 5:23) The more pain one has – the stronger one becomes. He or She turns to G-d and receives a reward for that. At times the pain is the reward – the pain awakens the person to better opportunities. A Wife yells at her husband (the suffering) to take care of the children instead of being a workaholic. He then discovers a better relationship with his family. (the reward).
  5. We don’t understand the calculations of G-d. (Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers 4:15)
  6. The Suffering is for the person’s good. (It makes him introspect and become a softer better person). Suffering is expected to grow. For a person to become strong he or she has to push themselves out of their comfort zone – for instance exercise or running a marathon or doing cold calling.

If a person’s suffering allowed him or her to awaken and become closer to Hash-m will eventually look back and be thankful for the difficulty.

So a simple way to avoid suffering is to take a proactive stance. Start learning Torah. (see links section) Start attending an Orthodox synagogue more often. Put children in a Torah school. Gentiles – learn about the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah.

Teshuva, Tzedaka and Tefillah can remove a bad judgement. Teshuva – is repentance. Tzedaka is giving Charity to Torah causes. Tefillah is prayer to Hash-m / G-d. Remember G-d / Hash-m is our Loving Father. Just like a father is merciful with their children – G-d is merciful with us when we communicate, repent and help our brothers and sisters. Do Teshuva because of awe or fear – one’s sins are erased. Do Teshuva because we realize the great kindness of Hash-m and we Love Him – our transgressions become Mitzvot (Merits).

Do good Get good. Think it will be good and it will be good.

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