17 Tamuz 5779 / Saturday, July 20, 2019 | Torah Reading: Pinchas
 
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HomeSpirituality and FaithPersonal GrowthIt Hurts, But Thanks!
 
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It Hurts, But Thanks!    

It Hurts, But Thanks!



Have you ever tried thanking Hashem for whatever it is that is causing you grief? Even though it hurts, it's a loving Father that's causing the pain for our own benefit...

 



Before I was married, I was learning in a wonderful Yeshiva in our beloved city of Jerusalem. Thanks to Hashem I had the opportunity to immerse myself fully in the Torah as a newly discharged soldier. I was feeling so emotionally and spiritually charged getting closer to Hashem through our sacred Torah. It’s difficult to describe but if you have had the feeling yourself, you know exactly what I mean.

 

As time went on I was also able to dedicate hours upon hours to hitbodedut daily, in the forest at night alone. It was the most magical ‘spiritual’ time of my life. Listening to Rabbi Brody’s Judean Dream while doing personal prayer, in the Jerusalem Forest, I felt like a secret holy man! I loved this time in my life so much, but as we all know it, life can be a rollercoaster. Thanks to Hashem I became engaged to a wonderful girl from Rosh Haayin and soon needed to make preparations for a wedding, an apartment and find a job. Life was now in the fast lane toward the wedding date and I was now being what I thought was distracted from my Torah learning schedule.

 

Being in a relationship means sacrificing/giving, that meant less personal prayer in the forest and more time in the living room. It also meant less time learning in the Yeshiva, and now learning through Emuna CDs in the car. It’s all a balance, but without Emuna you can fall like I almost did. You see I had to get a job, so the fastest and easiest thing that came my way was to become an English teacher. It’s crazy to think because I never once thought I’d do anything like this; pronouns, grammar, capital letters! What, you mean to tell me you moved all the way to Israel to become an English teacher?! How did you go from being a big macho machine-gunner in Golani to teaching about the ‘magic E rule.’ To be honest, I am thankful for this route Hashem has taken me, because it has taught me ‘the magic E rule: Emuna.’

 

Day after day for months, I was pondering how to find a job, where are we going to live, how do I keep up my Torah learning, and most of all how do I make her number one? Luckily, I have been privileged to connect with the teachings from the Emuna Force of Rabbi Shalom Arush and Rabbi Lazer Brody. Their teachings throughout the Garden series, especially “Garden of Gratitude” opened my eyes to seeing my own personal challenges as mere invitations to come closer to Hashem, instead of despair. What that means is that my mind frame went from saying things like, “Ohhh Hashem, I need money, where’s it gonna come from, you gotta help me, why is it so hard!” to “Hashem, thank you so much for putting me in this situation, up until now you gave me the merit to focus on Torah and worry about myself, thank you for that, and thank you now that I am engaged, I am so lucky to have met my soulmate, and finally thank you Hashem that I don’t know where or how I am going to make a living, I am a little nervous, but thank You, because I know You are just giving me this challenge to get closer to You.”

 

Thankfully Rav Brody translated the book Garden of Wisdom, which teaches emphatically about the simple man who is happy with his lot in life (This is a MUST read for anyone struggling with their happiness in life, it's also available on CD in English). The point is that Hashem lead me on this path, and if he did it, it's perfect, this is my lot in life, and I am happy with that, because if He wanted it to be different, it would.

 

In my mind I needed a more ‘meaningful’ job. But you know what, this direction in life taught me so much about Emuna. I’d be there in Gush Etzion and on my lunch break I’d do personal prayer. “Hashem, I’m burning inside for your Torah, why am I here? It hurts, but thank you, I know how much You love me after everything You have done for me to get here living in Israel. I know You aren’t leading me astray, but please help me believe that everything is for the best.” If you don’t have personal prayer negative thoughts of self-doubt build up. We need an hour a day to talk to Hashem like this, giving thanks, and requesting Emuna.

 

Homework: Try personal prayer for 30 minutes. Don’t do anything but thank Hashem for what’s bugging you, and you are guaranteed to see how it’s all for the good. Best wishes!





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