This is an excerpt from one of my current projects that will, im yirtzeh Hashem, be completed soon. It’s on building and having Emunah when things are difficult, during and after suffering.
If a person has, rachmono litzon, had horrible things happen to them, it can be very hard to really feel Hashem, and trust that He loves us. It says in Maseches Chagigah (5a-b) that this is a sign that someone is part of Klal Yisroel, is that they experience Hester Ponim, if one doesn’t have this experience of Hashem’s concealment, there is a concern that they’re not really from Zera Yisroel. Essentially, the state of Hester Ponim is being unable to perceive Hashem due to the amount of tzoros that a person has. Im yirtzeh Hashem we should be soon free from the Golus, but so long as we’re here, this is a problem we have to face. Rebbe Nachman says, as it was popularized by a song in 5775 or so “And even in the concealment that is within concealment, with certainty also there Hashem Yisborach can be found.” This can be very difficult for someone suffering to deal with in their situation, I wish to help with finding Hashem even in those dark places, b’ezras Hashem.
In such a situation of suffering, the best thing to keep in mind that everything Hashem does is for good. Rebbe Nachman writes in Torah 65 much on this matter. In short, the purpose of all evil in this world is to distract a person and take one away from Daas, in order that they shouldn’t be able to gaze upon the tachlis, the ultimate purpose, of all things. The tachlis is kulo tov, everything is good. Hashem is totally good, everything is totally good. Even if it looks bad, and it seems terrible, it’s still good. The whole purpose is to make sure that we don’t have complete Emunah, and that we can’t see the great goodness of everything. This is because looking beyond the troubles and realizing everything is for the good is Me’Ein Olam HaBa, it’s mamesh like Olam HaBa. How else could there be Bechira if it wasn’t for all the pain? For lack of pain we have to already exist in the Y’mos HaMoshiach. Rebbe Nachman wasn’t speaking as someone who had an easy life, he lost his entire family to various causes, and was plagued with moro sh’chorah, dark bitterness, much of his life. So evaluating these Torahs from this perspective can lend us much insight as to the nature of this avodah.
The exercise I propose for people who are suffering in one way or another, or have suffered, is to look into the situation and find one good thing about it. Doesn’t have to be the thing itself, but how you have changed into a better person from it, or how certain good things in your life wouldn’t have happened without that suffering. Contemplate where all the goodness comes from, ultimately this takes you back to Hashem Himself, because all goodness comes from Him. The important thing is to make this reckoning in honesty, and use the lessons learned in order to come closer to Hashem Yisborach and Emunah Shleimah.