Monday, January 16, 2012

Why is Hashem doing this to me?

You have to squeeze an olive to release it's fine oil
Last week's parasha ended with Moshe asking Paroh to release the Jews. Not only did Paroh refuse, but he even increased the workload and burden of the Jewish slaves. The Jews then complained to Moshe and Aharon about their increased burden, so Moshe turned to Hashem and asked, "Why have You worsened the situation of this people?"
This week's parasha opens up with the verses, "Elokim spoke to Moshe and said to him, I am Hashem. I appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov as E-l Sha-ddai, but My Name of Hashem, I did not make known to them."
Rashi explains that this opening verse is a continuation of the previous parasha when Moshe asked, "Why have You worsened the situation of this people?" And Hashem's answer to that question was, "Elokim (The Name that represents G-d's aspect of judgement) spoke to Moshe and said to him, I am Hashem (The Name that represents G-d's aspect of mercy)."
Therefore, all the questions and doubts we have about Hashem, are brought about because of a concealment of the emett (truth). For from the emett is drawn out the ways of Hashem, and these ways are beyond our understanding and comprehension. Like the example of the righteous person who suffers and the wicked person who prospers.  All this (the fact that Hashem's ways are hidden from and beyond our understanding) is done for the sake of our having free choice.
This is what is meant by, "Elokim spoke," the aspect of strict judgement, "And He said to him (Moshe), I am Hashem," the aspect of mercy. That is, Hashem was making it known to Moshe that Hashem is Elokim, judgement is really mercy; both are really one. The aspect of mercy and the aspect of judgement are both one in the most truthful way, it is just that we do not have the ability to fully understand this, for the essence of Hashem's ways are beyond our understanding, just like His existence itself is beyond our understanding.
And this is what is meant by, "I appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov as E-l Sha-ddai, and My Name Hashem, I did not make known to them." This is because the main revelation of G-dliness in the world came through the Avot (Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov) and it would be impossible to reveal it all in one solid dose. Truth has to be revealed level by level in this world in order to maintain an aspect of free choice. The ultimate truth of Hashem's Oneness, that Hashem (mercy) and Elokim (judgement) is one, will only be fully revealed with the coming of the Moshiach.
(Likkutei Halachot on the parasha)
Now that we have just learned this, let us try to live with this level of emuna (faith), even in situations that go beyond and against our own understanding. The homework for this week is that no matter what happens to us, we must not react with anger, worry or frustration. Rather, we should stop ourselves, take a deep breath of patience and say, "I know this is from You Hashem, and I therefore know that this is for my good – even though I do not understand it." At this point we can even go so far as to thank Hashem for the good that we know he is currently doing for us. This attitude will allow us to merit seeing things for the true good that they really are. As Rebbe Natan teaches us, "If we would all listen to the words of the true Tzaddikim and follow this path, to have constant emunah in Hashem that all is for the good, and we would give praise and thanks to Hashem for both the good and the apparent not good, as it is written, 'To Hashem I will praise, to Elokim I will praise,' then certainly we would nullify all the troubles and all the exiles completely and we would already be experiencing the full redemption!"
May Hashem bless us all to go in the ways of emuna, praise and thanksgiving, and may we all soon experience the full and final redemption of our people, Amen.

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