How can a person not be depressed when he hears about so many people who are dying young?
Let me tell you. It is an excuse; it’s an alibi. People are looking for a teretz to be unhappy, that is all it is. The truth is they don’t care much about that; they are looking for an excuse to be unhappy. On the contrary you should say, “Boruch Hashem that You protected me.” All day long think about that: “Hashem protected me.”
Of course whatever you can do, you do. Pray for him. Are you praying for that person? No. You’re just showing you are dissatisfied, asking kashes. Why don’t you pray for him? In shemoneh esrei, in refaeinu, say יהי רצון מלפניך שתשלח מהרה רפואה שלימה מן השמים לפלוני בת פלוני בתוך שאר חולי ישראל. Or at the end of shemoneh esreh. Are you praying for him?
And in addition to that, you should thank Hakodosh Boruch Hu. מודים אנחנו לך – I thank You Hashem you saved me and my wife and my sons and my daughters and my children and my grandchildren; we don’t have such things among us! ברוך אתה השם הגומל חסדים טובים לעמו ישראל. Are you thinking that? That’s one of the purposes of tzaros. When you hear tzaros, you have to rejoice that you didn’t get the tzaros. “Rejoice?!” you say, “I should rejoice?” Certainly you have to rejoice!
Of course you should be mispallel for them. If they need money, help them get money. But you should not lose sight of the fact that Hakodosh Boruch Hu has protected you. And you have to utilize that to have more simcha in your life. Whenever you hear a misfortune, “Boruch Hashem it didn’t happen to me!”
When you stand shemoneh esrei and you bow down ברוך אתה השם, you‘re saying, “I thank you Hashem.” For what are you thanking? Nothing at all! You bow down like a robot. Bow down and think, “You saved me from what that person had.”
Now we don’t know why Hashem did it to that person – Hashem has His reasons – but boruch Hashem He didn’t do it for me. That should be your reaction. And be happy and enjoy it.
You’ll say, “How can you enjoy somebody else’s tzaros?” No, I’m not enjoying it. I am praying for him; whatever I can do. You can contribute to his help by giving some money, maybe bikur cholim. Whatever it is, you should do it. But at the same time, utilize it and understand that Hakodosh Boruch Hu rescued you from that trouble and that’s what you should enjoy. Utilize it to enjoy your own happiness.
TAPE # E-152 (September 1998)