If life is such a great opportunity for greatness like the Rav said tonight, why is it that Chazal tell us נוח לו לאדם שלא נברא יותר משנברא – “Man would have preferred to have not been created, then to have been created” (Eiruvin 13b)?
This question was already answered here many years ago. And it’s as follows: There’s no question that life is a tremendous חסד, a tremendous kindness. וכל החיים יודך סלה.- “All the living have to thank you forever.” If you’re alive, then מודה אני לפניך מלך חי וקיים. You say it every morning. שהחזרת בי נשמתי. I thank you for giving me life today again. No question about that. Life is a tremendous kindliness. Make no mistake about that. If you’re alive, you’d better get busy thanking Hashem that you’re alive.
But what that מאמר means is this: If they would ask you before you were born, “Do you want to be born?” you would say, “No, I don’t want. I’m not interested.” Because you’re afraid what would happen in case you’re a failure. Oohhh, to be a failure at life חס ושלום! A failure means Gehenim. And the נשמה knows what Gehenim is. We don’t know what Gehenim is, but the נשמה knows what Gehenim is. Gehenim is a terrible risk. And your נשמה says, “No, I’d rather not take the risk.” But Hashem says, “Do it anyhow. Because the opportunity to achieve at life is so great, so valuable, that I’m telling you that you should do it anyhow.” And then על כורחך אתה נולד. You’re created against your will. Your נשמה wouldn’t want it. But Hashem says, “Do it anyhow. Because it’s to your benefit.”
And therefore we are created. And now that you were created, make sure to do the best you can, and you’ll never be sorry that Hashem forced you into this world.
TAPE # E-216 (January 2000)