Rav Avigdor Miller on Not Facing Your Tests Head-On

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Q:
In davening we ask Hashem, ואל תביאינו לא לידי נסיון  – Don’t bring us into a situation of being tested. Why do we ask Hashem to help us avoid all נסיונות, all forms of spiritual tests, if the whole reason we are in this world is to face our tests, pass them and thereby become great?

A:
We ask Hashem, אל תביאינו לא לידי נסיון. Why? And the answer is that among the tests that Hashem sends upon us is the success of avoiding tests. If we successfully avoid a test, let’s say, you are בורח מן העבירה  – you run away from the possibility of a sin, then you have successfully passed the test. Any form of keeping away from the   נסיון  is the most successful way of dealing with the נסיון.

Anybody who comes close to a נסיון  willingly is already blameworthy. And even though he succeeds in overcoming the temptation, he is blamed. Why did you bring yourself close to the sin?! He is blamed for that. You should be afraid of an עבירה. You should run away from the possibility of sin. There’s no need to look for tests. You’re facing them all day long. All day! And you’re not even aware of most of them. So whatever you can do to avoid them is already a success.

And therefore, we have many תקנות  in the עם ישראל, many Rabbinic restrictions, that are intended for the sole purpose of protecting us from נסיונות.

You should never look for נסיונות. Never look for tests! That itself is a successful reaction to the problems that are facing us. הוי בורח מן העבירה. Avoid the problems that you can avoid. That itself is a great success.

TAPE #E-195