Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What are we living for?

"The purpose of life is not to be comfortable. The Almighty did not put us in this world so that we can cruise through with all the comforts of life, no pain, no challenges, and then to die peacefully under a beach umbrella with a pina colada in hand. The Almighty placed us in this world to face challenges, to perfect our character and to grow spiritually. That is why life is filled with challenges. It is our choice whether to view our challenges as obstacles or stepping stones."
-Rabbi Kalman Packouz

Short and yet a huge chizuk for me. Lately, a lot of things seem like they're falling apart for me and just getting more and more difficult. But that is the point. Adversity builds emunah, love, good middot, and strength.
May HaShem bless us all with the clarity and ability to face and overcome all of our nisyonot!

Happy Wednesday to all :)


  1. My principal always send that. It is so true and if we really ascribed to that train of thought then we wud be so much happier! We live in a society that promotes easy and comfortAble and if it isn't going your way try something else. It's when we work hard and accomplish that is when we have true simcha!

  2. inspirational indeed - thank you for sharing!!

  3. Tanna DeBei Eliyahu Raba, Chapter 13, Paragraph 11:

    Suffering comes on a person for his own good,
    to cleanse him of his sins.
    To receive quick quotes from a variety of
    Jewish Torah books, please go to:

    and click on: JOIN THIS GROUP.

    For Jewish people ONLY! Thank you!

  4. This is the same thing I was talking about in the last post. People live their lives looking for immediate pleasure not for the ultimate good. There is a story I am sure everyone knows... A man dies and goes to Heaven. Before him is a giant scale. Thousands of packages are brought and places on each side of the scale. One side for his mitzvot and one for his avairot. The problem is that the avairot outweigh the mitzvot by a lot. Before judgement is decided Hashem calls out that all of the suffering that the person had should be brought into the room. The doors open and many packages are brought in and are piled on top of all of the miztvot. After all of the packages are put on the scale it is exactly even. The court judges that this person must go back into the world so that he can tip the scale. The man turns to Hashem and in tears he screams "Hashem, why could you not have mercy for me while I was alive, why couldn't you give me more suffering?"
    When we think about it that way suffering looks a whole lot different.

  5. That is so true. I love the way this Rabbi put it! Life is not meant to be easy and if we use our challenges to grow and perfect ourselves, we are fulfilling our purpose in this world.

    Today was my younger brother's 5th yartzheit. It was an emotional yet meaningful day because my family made sure to do things that focus on growth and change. We did mitzvos and spread the word to others so his neshama will go higher. Hard? Yes. Challenging? Yes.

    But we grew from what we went through and that is what matters.

  6. Aminspiration - yes, true. I would add, though, that true simcha comes as a result of GOALS that were set to overcome hardships. Sitting back idly and waiting for adversity to leave doesn't equal happiness.
    For example, say someone's father (c"vs, lo aleinu) was once sick. As a result, the son organized many Tehillim groups and took it upon himself to go to minyan and learn for an extra 15 minutes every night, then those were goals that made him stronger through adversity. But if he just sat back and was depressed and criede every night without setting any goals whatsoever for self-improvement, then he'd probably be in a worse place than he was before he experienced the nisayon.

    Shades - glad you liked it :)

    Mr. Cohen - yes. Halevai we always remember that in times of stress and difficulty. I know that I don't always...

    Azriel Tzvi - "When we think about it that way suffering looks a whole lot different." wow, absolutely! That was so moving...definitely changed my outlook. Thank you so much for sharing that. I never heard that story, so I guess there's always an exception to everybody :)

    Devorah - "Today was my younger brother's 5th yartzheit."
    z"l and may his neshama have an aliyah through all the mitzvot and self-growth you and your family have achieved.
    I think that's incredible that you've used such an emotionally difficult nisayon for growth and further dveykut to HaShem. It's truly inspiring, especially to someone who doesn't come from a religious background -- because I've seen how people without G-d/Judaism in their lives deal with loved ones passing away. Either they don't know how to deal and further themselves away from Judaism out of anger towards G-d or they start to do teshuva and start grasping the point of existence.

  7. I can relate to this post! Things are a bit crazy for me now, too. Thanks for sharing- great chizuk.

    Who is Rabbi Kalman Packouz?

  8. SternGrad - I'm sorry to hear, sterngrad. Hope it all gets better! :)
    Rabbi Packouz is an aish Rabbi - he sends out a "Shabbat shalom weekly" every week about the parshah and life.
    Or as he puts it: insights into life, personal growth and Torah.

    I highly recommend signing up :)

  9. i did not mean that plain challenge will make you happy, you're right..its overcoming, working and growing that is really satisfying.

  10. SG-thank you, I'm really touched by what you wrote. B"h we were able to go through this difficult challenge the way we did, but it is only because before it even happened we worked on building ourselves and our faith in Hashem that everything He does is for a purpose. And I can honestly say that my mother was the one who helped us pull through and was the pillar of strength for my whole family. Without her chizuk and encouragement, we would not have been able to manage!

    What you say about the way people deal with death is 100% true and applies to other difficulties they may face. They can either turn away from G-d and get angry with Him or they can turn to Him and come so much closer! It's much better to live life with love of Hashem and being close to Him than to be upset with Him when things don't go your way!