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Does suffering purify?
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Apr 18 2019, 9:05 pm
I didn't want to derail another thread.

SixOfWands wrote:
[snipped] Do Jews really believe that physical suffering without actual conscious tshuva is sufficient to save someone? That sounds awfully Catholic to me. I thought that we were obligated to do tshuva, consciously and purposefully, not just physically suffer. And that if you do tshuva, consciously and purposely, that's enough for Hashem, no pound of flesh or wearing a hair shirt required.


I like this. But I've always learned the opposite, that suffering should be viewed as a tikkun, and purifies the soul. The whole concept of kapara.

Thoughts?
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Mommyg8




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Apr 18 2019, 9:08 pm
I'm pretty sure it does, according to the Ramchal in Derech Hashem but I'm WAY too tired to look it up. Anyone wanna volunteer?
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tigerwife




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Apr 18 2019, 9:56 pm
Suffering that purifies sounds better to me than meaningless suffering.

Adding, that doesn’t mean anyone should intentionally cause themselves suffering.
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amother




Peach


Post  Thu, Apr 18 2019, 11:00 pm
I think this is something people like to tell themselves to make them feel better. The truth is noone really knows why suffering exists, why evil and hardship exists.
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amother




Purple


Post  Thu, Apr 18 2019, 11:36 pm
amother [ Peach ] wrote:
I think this is something people like to tell themselves to make them feel better. The truth is noone really knows why suffering exists, why evil and hardship exists.



I agree with this. Almost every single bad thing that happens in this world has a positive spin regarding the benefit it will ring in the next world. The main one is suffering and hardship. I have learnt many times that those who suffer are preserving their reward in the next world. As I got older, I realized this is just a coping mechanism as it's impossible for anyone to have the slightest understanding of any of this.
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agreer




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Apr 18 2019, 11:53 pm
RE: the quote in the OP, from the other thread...

Where do you think the Catholics got their ideas from?!
When we do teshuva - no (or less) suffering needed
When we don't do teshuva - yes, suffering helps us. Perhaps one of the purposes of suffering is to inspire us to teshuva.

Also...we don't believe in getting "saved". That's a Catholic thing. Suffering is a Jewish thing.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 10:26 am
Now I know why I'm on now ;-D
Read the book Making Sense of Suffering by Rabbi Yitzchak Kirzner, zt"l.

Chag kasher v'sameach!
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amother




OP


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 11:26 am
PinkFridge wrote:
Now I know why I'm on now ;-D
Read the book Making Sense of Suffering by Rabbi Yitzchak Kirzner, zt"l.

Chag kasher v'sameach!


PF, would you mind to post a brief synopsis? Not sure when I'll get a chance to find the book
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amother




Purple


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 11:30 am
PinkFridge wrote:
Now I know why I'm on now ;-D
Read the book Making Sense of Suffering by Rabbi Yitzchak Kirzner, zt"l.

Chag kasher v'sameach!



Disclaimer: I didn't read his book. However, I would imagine that lots of his understanding comes from things he learnt in sefarim which all lead to the idea that suffering has certain benefits. The issue I have is that it always comes down to "it says in a sefer". To some, this is a legitimate strong argument. To others like myself, I still ask, well how do they know? The only answer is that they have ruach hakodesh.

I watched a shiur recently on emunah by rabbi yy jacobson. He was discussing how we know hashem loves us. He mostly said 2 answers:

1. We should feel it.
2. He quoted a dozen(s) of places where it basically says hashem loves us. Again to some, that's legitimate proof. To others, we ask, how do they know?
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ssspectacular




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 11:40 am
In Sefer Devarim, there are numerous verses about how Hashem loves us. If you don't believe in Chumash, you have a problem.
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Amalia




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 11:57 am
amother [ Purple ] wrote:
Disclaimer: I didn't read his book. However, I would imagine that lots of his understanding comes from things he learnt in sefarim which all lead to the idea that suffering has certain benefits. The issue I have is that it always comes down to "it says in a sefer". To some, this is a legitimate strong argument. To others like myself, I still ask, well how do they know? The only answer is that they have ruach hakodesh.

I watched a shiur recently on emunah by rabbi yy jacobson. He was discussing how we know hashem loves us. He mostly said 2 answers:

1. We should feel it.
2. He quoted a dozen(s) of places where it basically says hashem loves us. Again to some, that's legitimate proof. To others, we ask, how do they know?


Feeling Hashem’s love is key. But how to? Million-dollar question.
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amother




OP


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 12:12 pm
tigerwife wrote:
Suffering that purifies sounds better to me than meaningless suffering.

Adding, that doesn’t mean anyone should intentionally cause themselves suffering.


I agree, but is it possible to say, we have emunah that Hashem makes everything happen for a reason, though we don't understand in this world? But yes, having a benefit to the person, does make it sound better.
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amother




Tan


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 1:29 pm
I don’t know about everyone else, but I know that every single hardship that I’ve experienced in life (big or small) has led me to become a better person. Sometimes I got worse before I got better😂
What an awesome feeling to look at yourself and be proud of how far you’ve come.
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amother




Purple


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 1:57 pm
amother [ Tan ] wrote:
I don’t know about everyone else, but I know that every single hardship that I’ve experienced in life (big or small) has led me to become a better person. Sometimes I got worse before I got better😂
What an awesome feeling to look at yourself and be proud of how far you’ve come.



Seems like a spin to me. To attribute all the bad things that happen in this world, from poverty, illness, not finding a shidduch, infertility, mental health issues, and suggest that hashem gave it to us to grow.....Seems weak to me. Really, what would you tell the 45 year old single or the 50 year old couple who can't have children? Do you honestly feel they've "grown" from their experience?
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chicco




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 2:25 pm
We don't look for opportunities to suffer, and we also believe in enjoying what life has to offer. However, we do have the concept of kaparos- which is choosing to make whatever suffering we have- meaningful. If we give it meaning, it has the ability to cleanse.
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amother




Green


Post  Fri, Apr 19 2019, 4:24 pm
amother [ Purple ] wrote:
Seems like a spin to me. To attribute all the bad things that happen in this world, from poverty, illness, not finding a shidduch, infertility, mental health issues, and suggest that hashem gave it to us to grow.....Seems weak to me. Really, what would you tell the 45 year old single or the 50 year old couple who can't have children? Do you honestly feel they've "grown" from their experience?


Telling someone who is suffering that their suffering is good is a cruel thing to do. But that doesn't make it untrue.

What other option is there? That they are suffering for nothing? Do you think that's more plausible?
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amother




Gray


Post  Sat, Apr 20 2019, 2:02 pm
amother [ Green ] wrote:
Telling someone who is suffering that their suffering is good is a cruel thing to do. But that doesn't make it untrue.

What other option is there? That they are suffering for nothing? Do you think that's more plausible?


Sure it's plausible. Look at Sefer Iyyov.
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Aylat




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Apr 20 2019, 3:53 pm
In Hilchot Teshuva the Rambam lists different categories of sins. Some are forgiven immediately after teshuva, some require teshuva and Yom Kippur and are then forgiven, some require teshuva, Yom Kippur and suffering.

Which doesn't mean that suffering is always an atonement for sin - or in other words, just because someone suffers it doesn't mean they've sinned. Iyov is a good example of that - he suffered even though he hadn't done anything wrong.

There are a number of different Jewiah perspectives on suffering, but to answer the OP, yes, there is a Torah source for the idea that suffering can atone for sin.
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oneofakind




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 22 2019, 1:08 am
I asked a Rebetzin once about the concept of hardships being a nisayon. Like how does that fit to something like mental illness? She said for those things it's a kappara.
There is also the concept about atoning for a previous gilgul.
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amother




Tan


Post  Mon, Apr 22 2019, 4:40 am
I don’t think that I would tell a suffering person that they have “grown” from the experience, unless I sensed that they were looking for that type of chizuk.
However, I would differentiate between what I tell myself and what I tell others. The response that I posted is something that I try to tell myself.
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