My Country:  
 
  United States         Language:  
 
  English         My Currency:  
 
  US Dollar    
 
 
   1 Av 5774 / Monday, July 28, 2014 | Torah Reading Devarim       
Set as Home Page Add to favorites
Home
About Us
Breslev
VOD
Breslev Radio
Breslev Store
Donation
 
           Main Menu
BreslevBreslev
Holidays and Fast DaysHolidays and Fast Days
JudaismJudaism
HashkafaHashkafa
Concepts in JudaismConcepts in Judaism
Practical HalachaPractical Halacha
Jewish CultureJewish Culture
Hashem`s CreationsHashem's Creations
SocietySociety
FamilyFamily
Spirituality and FaithSpirituality and Faith
Torah PortionTorah Portion
BreslevpediaBreslevpedia
StoreStore
VODVOD
Breslev ForumsBreslev Forums
About UsAbout Us
Radio BreslevRadio Breslev
TefillinTefillin
MezuzotMezuzot
Daily YahrtzeitsDaily Yahrtzeits
The Three KeysThe Three Keys
Ask The RabbiAsk The Rabbi
Photo GalleryPhoto Gallery
BillBoardBillBoard
Newsletter SignupNewsletter Signup
PrayersPrayers
Contact UsContact Us
Follow usFollow us  Follow us
Breslev RSS FeedsBreslev RSS Feeds
           Mailing List
 Subscribe Subscribe Here:
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
               
HomeJudaismConcepts in JudaismRewards of the Punishment
Rewards of the Punishment
By: Dovber HaLevi

  Email This Article  Print version
       
   

“Platoon halt. Communications unit remain here. Everyone else follow me!”
 
A seasoned commander, the Major still breaks out a little smile when he hears the collective sigh of relief from the men. He was a trainee once too, and everyone knows that when the communications unit is told to stop, the march has less than a mile to go. He knew he could double the pace. The knowledge that the end was in sight revitalized everyone.
 
Sometimes we feel the pressure of life pressing against us with so much intensity, it is hard to breathe. Taking another step forward feels impossible. Reflecting on the meaning behind all of it becomes a pipe dream. How can you try to understand that it is all for the good when everything appears so bad?
 
Then along comes a recharge. Something happens that doesn’t alleviate the pressure, but it gives you a small burst of energy. You can press forward. You can reflect on the core reason why it is all happening. Much like the commander reminding his exhausted troops there is a finish line, Hashem sends something our way to remind us of King Solomon’s immortal words: This too shall pass.
 
That’s when emuna is no longer beyond our grasp. The words of Rav Arush are digestible again. They enable us to grab this small burst of energy, and turn it into new momentum. Then we can reflect on why things are happening the way they are. Why they happening to the world. Why they are happening to the People of Israel.
 
Why are they are happening to me...
 
At the heart of this reflection lies the intensity of how much G-d loves us. Even when we “slap” Him in the face with our sins, He retaliates with hugs.
 
What happens if you were to hit someone? He would most likely strike you back. What happens when you park on the wrong side of the street? You pay a fine and forget it. G-d forbid, what happens when you rob a bank? You spend five to ten years in a metal box watching talk shows.
 
In this physical world, we get little out of our crimes. It is never the case when Hashem is involved.
 
When we discover that we forgot to turn off the refrigerator light on Friday, we get a rude awakening the first time we open the fridge door on Shabbat. "How dumb! Now I've broken Shabbat!" We're flustered, embarrassed, we feel stupid and we're ashamed. Those feelings are our punishment. But then again, we yearn to do teshuva, right here and now. That's the reward! Hashem is so awesomely loving that His punishment is not punitive, it’s educational. Once we realize a particular tribulation is not random, but simply Hashem telling us we are not keeping the Shabbat properly, we add to our Friday afternoon list: turn off the refrigerator light. The next Shabbat, we guard this mitzvah to perfection. We reap rewards both in this world and the Next.
 
The punishment is part of the mitzvah. The hard times are a leg of the journey. Every time we sin, G-d gives us the opportunity to clean it up. He gives us the chance to change ourselves to the point that we will never be capable of committing this sin again. Our Sages say that he who abstains from a sin is considered like one who performs a mitzvah.
 
The man who changed his to-do list for Shabbos will have the mitzvah of not turning on the refrigerator light to his credit every week for the rest of his life. That’s also the reward of the punishment. Our sages say that a person doesn't really know Halacha unless he messes up on it first.
 
Even in those moments where things appear “not good” in our service to Hashem, He is still showering His compassionate love for us. He is still giving.
 
 
* * *
Dovber Halevi is the author of Sex, Religion, and the Middle East, a book about personal holiness and happiness. He lives in Israel with his wife and three children.


 

   
 
 


Read more about Concepts in Judaism
 
 
 See More Articles By Dovber HaLevi
   If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:
     Subscribe for Free
Add your commentTop of articleEmail This ArticlePrint version
Related Articles
All Around Tzniut (Modesty)               To Dwell in the Land
All Around Tzniut (Modesty) To Dwell in the Land

0 Talkbacks for this article     

Add Your Comment Add Your Comment  
 
 

Like What You Read?
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making
a better world.

 
Search
  
     
       Products of the Day
 
 
 

 
Our Price: USD $ 7.70
 
List Price: USD $ 20.60
 

 
Our Price: USD $ 8.80
 
List Price: USD $ 14.40
 

 
Our Price: USD $ 1.70
 
List Price: USD $ 7.40
 

 
Our Price: USD $ 1.70
 
List Price: USD $ 3.00
 
 
Breslev Israel 2004 - 2013 © All rights reserved
About Us Breslev Radio Breslev Jewish Forums Breslev Store Contacts How you can help
 
Breslev.co.il - Love, Soul, Joy
 
 
Designed by IGDM Company