Netivot Olam: Suffering In This World #12 part 2

In Masechet Brachot, Reish Lakish says, “When a person busies himself with Torah, yissurim separates from him. In the evening the bird can go up.” This refers to Torah which lifts up one’s eyes. “And there is no evening like suffering,” as it says, “In the darkness of night.” Yissurim comes as a result of lack. It is meant to purify and galvanize change. Torah can elevate a person to the point where yissurim have no dominion over him. Torahis wholeness.

Rav Huna says in the name of Rav, “If a person sees yissurim coming upon him he should examine his deeds.” If he doesn’t find any personal flaws, he should assume it is because of bitul Torah. If it is not bitul Torah, then it is out of love, (not lack) as it says, “Hashem rebukes those whom he loves.” He wants to draw us closer, so He afflicts us. A person could suffer and not gain anything. He could choose to learn nothing and blame it all on external causes. Alternatively one can grow and view it as a catalyst for change.


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