The Way God Runs the World

The Way God Runs the World

Listening to this week’s class by my teacher Dina Friedman of Chanoch LNaar, I suddenly realized that I’ve been going about life all wrong.

I realized the extent to which I expect things to always be good and easy and pleasurable, and when they aren’t, I feel resentful…”Why is this child/relative/neighbor/reader giving me such a hard time?! What did I do to deserve this?! It’s NOT FAIR?!” But it IS “fair,” because this is part of the way Hashem runs the world…Read on…

Dina Friedman explained:

Are you ALWAYS happy?
Are you ALWAYS calm?
Are you ALWAYS kind?

You aren’t, because a person like this exists only in our dreams.

Every trait that exists is always perfectly balanced by an equal and opposite trait.

In other words, there will never be pleasure without pain
Or pain without a pleasure.

There will never be gain without loss
Or loss without gain.

There will never be happiness without sadness
Or sadness without happiness.

Because Hashem runs the world in accordance with the Law of Equilibrium, maintaining perfect balance.

As it says in Kohelet “עשה האלהים זה לעמת זה” (G-d created this contrasted with this).

How much suffering and stress we cause ourselves when we falsely believe that life is meant to be ALWAYS joyful and ALWAYS calm and ALWAYS easy and ALWAYS smooth.

Because Hashem always maintains equilibrium—if He sees your life is very calm, He sends you stress. If He sees you are becoming arrogant, he sends you something/someone to shake your confidence. And if He sees that you are facing a challenge, a nisayon, He sends the support to carry you through.

Because Hashem knows that we grow and benefit from both sides of the coin. From the parts of life we enjoy and from the parts of life we struggle with, as well.

You might think that this revelation depressed me. But the opposite is true.

In fact, it made me realize that my false expectation of constant (yet unattainable) joy has caused me unnecessary suffering in life. And that through accepting the balanced reality of the world, I could attain a sense of harmony and true well-being.

It’s not necessary to waste emotional energy resenting challenging situations.

Life’s supposed “imperfections” are, in fact, part of G-d’s ultimate plan for me. And that plan is perfect. And knowing that makes me very, very happy.

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user Sids1

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7 comments

  1. Thank you for this! Spoke right to the core of me.

  2. This soooo depressed me. that means that there will always be stress, and there will never be a time when i can just relax and be able to appreciate life for more than a few minutes. not a good thought for me.

  3. Hadassah

    We are to aim for joyousness even when being dealt reasons for sadness. The struggle is what keeps our emotional and spiritual ‘muscles’ strong. People who are laid up in bed (even for good reasons) have to struggle to maintain muscle tone since lack of use causes disability!

  4. I recently had the opportunity to have a private appointment with Rebetzin Tzipora Heller. She listened attentively to issues I have going on about the challenge I feel in accepting certain life changes and circumstance.

    She suggested that I read Garden of Emunah by Rav Shalom Arush. I highly recommend it. Just the sort of hashkafa that is described in your blog and in the recent Shiur by Dina Friedman.

  5. I found this very comforting and enlightening. I have always thought of the G-dly equilibrium as being between good and evil, right and wrong. But positive and negative of course fit into those categories too, in a far more subtle way, especially when applied to our daily grind. It’s so hard to look up sometimes and see the bigger picture.
    Life’s ups and downs are certainly easier to deal with when viewed through the spiritual lens of Hashems Kingship.
    Thanks for a beautiful post.

  6. THE POWER OF PRAYER

    We have an active women’s group at our congregation, Beth Jacob of Irvine, California.

    Our Rebbetzin decided to have an event for the women who were not getting pregnant and who have been trying with no results. She organized a Challah Baking evening with Tehillim. Also, she invited her friend from New York who is known for telling holy stories and singing to women.

    That evening, we walked into our large social hall where tables were set up in a large square with challah-making items carefully arranged in each of the four corners.

    Eighty women showed up. They came from Irvine’s three Orthodox shuls – Beth Jacob, Chabad, and Young Israel. It was an amazing site. Our Rebbetzin explained the evening and had each of the women who needed a Bracha come up, give her Hebrew name; and then she started us on making challah. There were hand-outs of four different receipts we could choose.

    With each ingredient, a Tehillim was said. Between songs, prayers, and general fun, we knew we were there for a reason, to plead to Hashem to give these women the child they longed for.

    Today, four months later, four of the six women are pregnant, a miracle. Prayers do work. We have not forgotten the other two women and continue to pray. By Rosh Hashanah, B’Ezrat Hashem, our community may be having a briss, a baby naming, and all sorts of joy… Our Nachas knows no bounds.

    Chaya Rivka Carasso

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  7. In the most trying of circumstances, my neighbor always takes a deep breath and calmly says, “Everything is as it should be.” In other words, G-d has a plan, and everything is under His control. I have found this mantra to be particularly helpful when I feel down.

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