Three Essential Prerequisites First — Definition of Yissurim The Hebrew word yissurim deals with the classical theological and philosophical issue — “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and “Why do good things happen to bad people?”While yissurim is often translated as “suffering,” if we examine a verse in the Torah containing the word... Read more »

Rabbi Asher Resnick initially addressed how we are meant to relate to communal challenges in an earlier essay, “Understanding Communal Difficulties & Challenges – Part I” that is found here. We now continue with Part II… Rambam on the Mitzvat Asei (Positive Commandment) of Tza’akah (Crying out to G-d) While the Rambam and the Ramban argue about the mitzvah of tefillah (prayer),... Read more »

This essay is a continuation of Rabbi Resnick’s first essay on “Appreciating the Benefits of Difficulties & Challenges.” Yissurim weaken our attachment to physicality, to purify us in preparation for Olam Haba (the World to Come). The Gemara Brachot (5a) discussed a sequence of three ways to understand and relate to Yissurim: First, one should examine his deeds;... Read more »

Every Shabbat we request from G-d in our davening (prayers): Sab’einu mituvecha v’samcheinu bishuatecha — Satisfy us from Your goodness, and give us simcha (joy or happiness) with Your salvation. These words seem quite puzzling. If something is from G-d’s own good, then why do we need to ask G-d to “satisfy” us? Won’t that happen automatically? And if what... Read more »