Sunday, November 21, 2010

Take A Second Look

I passionately typed up a whole post about what a "bad" week I was having. You know, a week where everything seems to be going wrong?
But then I remembered: absolutely not! I'm the one who's wrong...not the week! A bad week isn't really a bad week. On the contrary...
a bad week is a good week!

It all depends on one's definition of bad. If bad means that it wasn't easy -- well, then that's not bad! Because the whole point of existence is to be challenged. (See above link.) Each one of us has a mission, and every single one of our missions involves closeness to HaShem. We need a relationship with HaShem.

I hope that G-d blessed each one of you with at least one good friend. I think of each one of my close friendships. What makes them my close friends? That we've had happy times together? Sure. But it's typical to have a "nice" time with someone. That's not rare. That's not what makes you CLOSE to somebody. It's adversity that makes you close to one another. Each one of my close friends have opened up to me, spilled their guts out, cried their eyes out, and complained. And vice versa with me. They were (and are) there for me when I'd call at 2 AM.
Friendships should teach us about our relationship with HaShem. How do we achieve closeness? Only through "nice" times?
HaShem needs to send us yisurim -- not merely for a kapara/atonement for our sins, but also to prompt us to grow close to Him! To prompt us to tell Him what's on our minds, why our hearts are heavy, what our goals, hopes, and dreams are.
Our problems and the method through which we overcome them really shape us to be who we are.

This past Motzei Shabbat (last night), I noticed a lady on the steet staring at me. Hmm, why was she staring at me? I had a nice winter outfit on (cute hat and all), but that couldn't be the sole reason. I recognized that look. It wasn't an admiration stare. It was a you-are-a-weirdo stare. And then I realized...
I was having a conversation with HaShem. I didn't even realize that I was doing it out loud --- aka not in my head! :)

Earlier today, I was driving and wanted to listen to my favorite CD. I lent it to a friend, so I decided to pop a different one in. It was the perfect song for sending me clarity: Itzik Eshel's "Hoshea Na."
The line that changed my entire mood: (roughly translated from Hebrew): "even when it's difficult for me, and I'm very hurt...I'll still call to You, loving Father. Please send me salvation; send me success."
It's far more powerful in Hebrew, but you get my drift. By sending us all of these hardships, HaShem is sending us a precious gift...opportunities to grow closer to Him! HaShem isn't giving up on any of us, and we certainly shouldn't give up on Him! If there's any advice I could ever give the world, it's that emunah and tefillah are the keys to all of the real successes in life.
Have a wonderful week :)


  1. So true!
    The people who I feel closest to are those who went through challenges and we've turned to each other for's the tough times that make those ties so much stronger...!

  2. Devorah - Yes! Exactly. I'm happy someone "ccchopped" :)
    One of my readers told me that post sounds like I'm trying to convince myself. It's true; I am. All of my chizzuk posts are really just chizzuk for myself, and if someone else benefits too, then great. :)

  3. You don't sound like you are trying to convince yourself that it's true-at least to me. Maybe that person never really experience this kind of relationship. There's a different measure of depth that comes along with going through hardships together so it may be hard for them to believe it's true...but I know it's true!!

    Hey, and I just thought of something! If this is how it works with human relationships, it must work the same way with Hashem! Our ties with Him become stronger when we go through painful times...that's how we can build a closer and better connection to Him!!

  4. One of big things about being in Yeshiva is that after a year of growth with a group of guys they become your best friends.

    Also, one of my father's favorites sayings is "it is not what happens to you, it is how you react to it."