Friday, June 5, 2009

The Reward Of Affliction

Is there a Jewish individual, family or community that hasn't experienced some level of illness, suffering or affliction in the recent past? If there is, they are in trouble.
A doctor was once called in to treat two different patients in the same village. He prescibed very bitter medicine to one, but ordered sweet delicacies to the other. When he was questioned why there was such a strange difference in treating the two patients who appeared to have the same illness, he responded, "One patient has a chance to recover and survive. So I ordered a very bitter pill for him to take. He will not enjoy the bitterness, but will forget it when he fully recovers. The other patient has no chance to recover. He will not survive. So I ordered the nurses to give him all the tasty foods and other delights that he craves. Let his final days be filled with his desires."
Although today, the evil in the world seems to be waving their right hand in triumph, their days are numbered. The Jewish People around the world, especially those who fill their days with Torah values, are feeling the effects of the bitter medicine that Hashem has handed out. The afflictions or bitter bills, will make them stronger, will cleanse their souls, and will draw them closer to G-d. The untimely deaths in Jewish families, the illnesses, financial set backs and struggles, addictions hurting our children, spousal and child abuse, problems finding a shidduch, and improper sexual activities are major tests affecting us all. They are very hard tests to pass filled with traps and lures. It's easy to fall prey here living in a society decaying constantly. But we all must be strong and supportive of each other. This is not a time to be judgmental, but a time to be forgiving.
We must emulate Avrohom, our patriarch, who was tested 10 times by Hashem. Each time he went forward, to do G-d's will, never questioning G-d's motives or plans. His ultimate reward was not received in his lifetime but was realized by his descendants 364 years later. The reward was the Torah.
The gematria of Avrohom אברהם is 248. If you multiply 248 by 10 (the number of tests)you arrive at 2480, the same value as the 5 Books of Moses:
Genesis בּראשׁית which has a value of 913
Exodus שׁמות which has a value of 746
Leviticus ויקרא which has a value of 317
Numbers בּמדבּר which has a value of 248
Deuteronomy דברים which has a value of 256
The total value of the Names of the 5 Books of Moses is 2480


  1. And what say you about the people who are living with their Emuna, Bitachon and are anxious to greet Moshiach, BUT ARE NOT YET IN ERETZ HAKODESH? I don't know if I agree with your analysis of those suffering. Those that succumb to the enticements and fall victim of this golus and don't see their reflection in the mirror, are they not doomed?
    Those who struggle to combat the onslaught, and hold tight to the vision of the Third Temple granted them on Tisha B'Av - are they not to be rewarded?