When you pass by a hospital, you must know that in the operating rooms men are standing there with knives and they’re cutting into people. As you pass by, if you would peek in – maybe they won’t let you but if you would peek and see what’s going on, you might cry out in protest, “What are you doing to that man?!”
Now that person is paying a great deal of money for the doctors to cut on him. We understand, that’s his salvation. You have to cut out the parts that are endangering his life.
And suffering is the scalpel of the great surgeon. Hakodosh Boruch Hu is saving our lives by suffering. I can tell you stories about how people were rescued because of suffering. But even if you don’t see how you’re rescued, there’s no question that everyone who is visited by suffering is benefitting. Because the minimum you can say, without understanding any more – there’s much more to understand – but the bare minimum is that when a person suffers in this world, he cancels out some of his debts to Hakodosh Boruch Hu.
When a man suffers nothing at all, he must be afraid that he has a very great bill to pay in the World To Come. By suffering, some of these are canceled out. יסורים ממרקים – Suffering erases a person’s sins. Not only because of the calculations of the suffering itself, but it actually makes a person much better as we explained other times.
So don’t ask, “How can Hashem look on when suffering is taking place?” He is making the suffering! And we thank Him for the suffering! He should give us a bill for the great benefit He’s bestowing on us.
And our job is, כשם שחייב אדם לברך על הטובה – just as he has to make a bracha for things that bring to him happiness, he has to make a blessing for everything else. Because everything is for his benefit.
And he’ll discover – when it’s a little too late; in the World To Come – he’ll discover he should have thanked Hashem for his sufferings.
TAPE # 841 (September 1991)