Suffering or a Blessing? Part 2

This post is a continuation of my last one. If you want to read it from the beginning, you can find it here.

In Suffering or a Blessing? Part 1, a man had endured every bit of suffering possible in his life. He went to a big Kabbalist to help him understand what was going on. He was in the waiting room when he fell asleep and woke up to everything white around him. There was a white, black and gray train filled with all types of people. When they had passed, he followed them and found a door. Inside there was a giant scale. Then he heard a voice saying this was his own judgement. 

Then he hears this voice say,

“Will all of this man’s good deeds please come forward.”
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The huge white train comes out and all of the big, strong men, the good deeds that he fulfilled with intent, thinking, growing, working, and he did them all with total thought, come off the train. Then the scrawny ones came out, the ones that he didn’t have the strongest intent, and he didn’t work as hard for them. The ones that were just a limb, those were the ones that he did without even paying attention. And they start piling on the scale and it starts to move and all of a sudden it hits the floor.

And the man starts cheering! He’s just so happy! He couldn’t even believe how lucky he is!

Then the voice says,

“Will all of this man’s sins please come forward.”

The huge black train comes out and all of the big, strong men, the sins that he did with passion, get on the scale. The weaker ones, the sins that he did but he didn’t really mean them, then the little limbs, all of these start to pile up.

The scale starts to life up, and the man starts to get worried. Then, the scale flips…and the sins are weighing down, and then it hits the floor. The man starts crying and pleading.scale

“Please! No! This can’t be it! Please! I’ll do anything! Just please don’t let this be it!”

And he thinks it’s over…until he hears another voice.

“Will all of this man’s pain and suffering please come forward.”

The gray train pulls up. The big, strong, gray men were the ones where he lost his spouse and his children. A little smaller were the ones where he lost his business, a little smaller he stubbed his toe, even smaller were the ones where he didn’t pick out the right coin from his pocket, etc.

All of these men start piling on the side of his good deeds. And the scale starts tipping again. He keeps yelling for more.

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“More of those gray men! More pain! More suffering! Please please give me more of them! Give me the pain! Give me the pain!”

And then he wakes up.

The secretary says to him that The Rashash will now see him. And the man turns to him and says, “Thanks. I’m good.”

As he walks out, he bangs his head and says, “Thank God.”

 

Anything that we go through in this world has a purpose. Maybe it’s because it takes off any pain and suffering in the next world, or maybe it’s because we needed some sort of lesson. We ask that we don’t go through these tests but if we do, we accept them and we recognize that ultimately, they are for our good.

So that car accident? Yes, it was definitely not fun. But there are times in life where we have to just believe it is all for our benefit and it’ll all work out.

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find the meaning in the suffering. –Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Suffering or a Blessing? Part 1

Well…I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have anything to write about until this morning…when I got into a car accident…that was my fault.

It wasn’t anything major, no one was hurt and the other car only had a few little scratches. Plus, it was someone I know. And before you jump to conclusions, no, I wasn’t on my phone. I was simply backing out of a parking spot slowly when the other car turned into the parking lot at a normal speed and didn’t honk me so I totally didn’t notice him.

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So why is this a good thing?? The simple answer, right now it doesn’t seem like it. But there are no simple answers :).

After this happened, I did beat myself up about it – a lot. It was completely my fault and I should have checked a few more times etc. But then I thought, what if this happened in order for something worse not to? Obviously this amount of suffering was meant to happen to me for some unknown reason, but it could have come in many forms. There are so many worse things in life than a car accident where no one was hurt. Yes, it is going to cost money to fix which is definitely not ideal but it really could have been so much worse.

If any of you watched the video from my post on “Why Bad Things Happen To Good People?” you may remember this story.

There was a man who had so much suffering in his life. His wife died, his kids died, he lost his house, his money, his business and everything he owned. He wanted to know what was going on so he went to a great Kabbalist by the name of The Rashash. He goes into his office, and his right hand man tells him to sit down and The Rashash will see him soon.

Findingthewhitespace.jpgThe moment he sits down, he’s completely out. He looks around him and everything is white. He has no idea what’s going on. Then he hears and sees in the distance what sounds and looks like a train. The train is coming towards him and as it gets closer he sees that it’s a huge white train that has cart after cart filled with these big white men. Some are big and strong and some are scrawny. Some are missing limbs, some are disproportionate, and this train just keeps going and going until it finally passes.

Then, he hears the same noise again. But then he sees a black train filled with the same types of men, just in black. Some are big and strong and some are scrawny, some are missing limbs and some are disproportionate, and then the train passes.railroad-164071_960_720.jpg

And again, he hears the noise. But this time it’s a gray train. And the same exact thing happens. At this point, the man is very confused. So he walks toward where the trains went and he comes to this massive door. He opens it and sees this huge scale and a voice  calls out,

“Welcome to the judgement of _______ the son of _______.”

Since I don’t want this to be too long, you’ll have to read my next blog post to find out the rest :).

Just because we don’t see a reason for evil and suffering doesn’t mean there’s not a reason for it. –Timothy Keller

 

 

 

 

It’s A…!

Last week my aunt gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. The baby was 9.1 lbs which was a blessing considering the fact that her last baby was a preemie, under 5 lbs, and in the NICU for a few days. When I found out she had a baby, it reminded me of a story that happened by her last baby. its a boy

My aunt now has 3 boys and a girl. The first 2 are boys, then her little princess, and then another boy. When she gave birth to her little girl after 2 boys she was completely obsessed with her. Of course she was thrilled that the baby was healthy and able to come home after a few days, but she was obsessed over every little thing this baby did.

Don’t get me wrong, the baby was adorable, but it came to a point where I told her,

“You know, I don’t think it’s fair that you’re completely obsessed with Mindy, but you weren’t nearly as obsessed with your other boys.”

She then told me something I’ll never forget.

“It’s true, I wasn’t this obsessed when any of my boys were born. But after what we went through with Mindy, it showed me what a huge miracle having a healthy child is. You learn this more each time you have a baby, you learn more and more things that can go wrong. But when something actually isn’t right, it shows you how you can never take anything for granted. Something so simple like a perfectly healthy baby, needs every single thing to go right in the process. That’s why I’m totally obsessed with her. Of course because she’s cute, but more because of the fact that I was given a perfectly healthy baby and I can’t stop marvelling at her.”

newborn-feet700px.jpgWe know that everything that happens in this world is planned. When this happened, it really opened my eyes. When a baby is born, how often do we stop to think that every chromosome and every cell developed at the right time and in the right place. I don’t think we realize how difficult the whole process is and what a miracle it is when it all happens.

So we may wonder, why did that baby need to be born a preemie and be in the NICU? Well, we may never know. But one possibility is so that I was able to appreciate the miracle of a baby, and to help someone else understand it as well. After all, that’s why it’s called “The Miracle of Life”! 🙂

If you don’t believe in miracles, perhaps you’ve forgotten you are one. -Author Unknown

How Accidents Changed The World

We know that nothing in this world is an accident right? As I’ve been saying, everything has a purpose! Instead of writing a story or a deep insight into this, I figured I would go practical! Here are 10 things that wouldn’t exist today if not for an accident!

  1. Coca-Cola: 

This is probably the most commonly known one today, but Coca-Cola was                  originally intended to be a medication. This is why the original Coke included cocaine on its list of ingredients!coke_305006

     2.  Saccharine (artificial sweetener):

 

In 1879, chemist Constantine Fahlberg was working in the lab one day and forgot to wash his hands when he came home. While he was eating, he noticed that everything he put in his mouth had a sweet taste and realized that two of the chemicals left on his hands were the cause of it!

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    3. Penicillin

Sir Alexander Fleming was trying to create a “wonder drug” that could cure diseases. He came back to the lab the next day to find that all of his Petri dishes were contaminated with bacteria. (His lab was in a hospital and the hospitals were quite dirty back then.) When he came across one dish that contained mold, he noticed that the bacteria was dissolving around the mold and whatever was under the mold did not have the bacteria. When he grew the mold by itself, he learned that it contained a powerful antibiotic, penicillin. penicillin.png

    4. Sticky Notes

Spencer Silver at 3M Laboratories, was trying to create a strong adhesive. While working, he created an adhesive that was weaker than what already existed, but could be pulled off easily without leaving any marks. Years later, a colleague spread the adhesive on little pieces of paper to mark his place in a book and sticky notes were born!wall_covered_with_sticky_notes-100693853-large.jpg

    5. Ink-Jet Printers

A Canon engineer accidentally rested a hot iron on his pen and shortly after, the ink from the pen was ejected. This theory caused the Ink-Jet printer to be created!images.jpeg

    6. The Pacemaker

John Hopps was an electrical engineer who was conducting research on hypothermia. He was trying to use radio frequency heating to restore body temperature. During his experiment, he realized if a heart stops beating due to cooling, it could be started again by an artificial stimulation. This lead to the pacemaker!pacemaker.jpg

   7. Potato Chips

In 1853, George Crum, a chef at the Carey Moon Lake House, was making a plate of fried potato for a customer. The customer sent his plate back many times complaining they were too thick and not fried enough. George Crum got mad and fed up and sliced the potatoes super super thin and fried them until they were as hard as a rock! The chef was surprised when the customer loved them and wanted more! 19955190-407805769jpg.jpg

   8. Velcro

George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer was on a hunting trip with his dog when burrs kept getting stuck to its fur. He managed to replicate this effect in his lab and create Velcro. But it wasn’t until NASA that this technology became popular. Hook-and-Loop.jpg

   9. The Microwave

Percy Spencer was conducting a radar-related research project with a new vacuum tube. He realized that during his experiments, his candy bar would start to melt in his pocket! He put popcorn in the machine to test it and it started to pop! After this he knew this device was revolutionary! 08_Microwave_OTR_ME18H704SFS_R-Perspective-Open_Silver.jpeg

  10. X-Rays

Wilhem Roentgen was an eccentric physicist. He was investigating the properties of cathodic ray tubes. When he shined a light through the tubes, he saw that the fluorescent papers in his lab were illuminated even though his machine had an opaque cover. Thus, the X-Ray was discovered! x-ray-skull-from-right-side.jpg

There’s no such thing as mistakes – only a lack of foresight. -Susan Elizabeth Phillips

When It Really Hits Home

This morning, my beloved great-grandfather, Zaidy Veveh, passed away. Although this is a deeply personal matter, after a lot of tears, I realized this would be a prime example of true Divine Providence.

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My great-grandfather lived a long, full and happy life. He merited to see many of his grandchildren get married, and got to meet and spread his joy to many of his great-grandchildren.

We live our lives knowing somewhat that everything and everyone has their purpose in life and that everything happens for a reason. I’ll admit, it’s a lot easier said than done.

When I found out he passed away, I found myself thinking, why now? Why couldn’t he live a few more years? Months? Even days? Why couldn’t I visit him one more time? Zaidy didn’t even get to meet my future husband, or my future children. My future family will never know what a loving, fun great-grandfather he was. They will never be able to know Zaidy.

They will never know what it means for a person to always have a smile on their face, no matter what the circumstance. Or to always have the perfect thing to say to anyone who crosses their path. This was the essence of Zaidy. Why is it fair that my future family won’t get to meet him and love him the same way I did? img_0626.jpg

But then, as I sat in his house with all of my extended family I realized something. My entire family was only supposed to stay until Sunday since they were all here for Passover. Zaidy wanted to make sure all of us were together and that we all got to say goodbye. IMG_2225

 

 

 

img196On top of all of this, continuing the holiday in mourning is hard. Especially for my grandmother, and her two sisters. But really, for all of us. For anyone who even got to meet Zaidy.

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A huge light went out as soon as he left this world. A light that can never be replaced. That one word: why? It just keeps popping into my head. But that is exactly what Divine Providence is. There are some things that we just don’t know the reason for. Each and every one of us need to go through our own challenges for our own reasons. Are they easy? No. Do we need to go through them? Yes.

Why did God need to take Zaidy Veveh? Obviously no one lives forever but why today? Why now? The answer? I don’t know. No one knows. But there is clearly a plan and clearly a reason.

What we do know is that he is reunited with his wife, Bubie Sarah, and I know that they are happy and at peace. I also know that he will always be there looking out for me. 20160105_123057

l’iluy nishmas Zev ben Shmuel Alter

 

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

This is a question that’s probably been asked more times than we can count. It is a good one that but we can’t answer it directly. Here’s a small story to give you a little glimpse:

During WWII, a boy came home one day to find that his sister had been taken. Without even thinking, this 16 year old boy runs to the bunker where they took her. He barges through the door and goes “Give me back my sister!”

The Nazi officer looks at him and laughs. “Boys! He wants his sister back! Ha! Should we give back the sister?”

“Ya ya ya! Sure! Let’s give him back his sister! Tell you what, kid. We’ll give you back your sister….when you grow hair on your palms! Ha!”

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The boy looks and them and goes, “Ok”, and sticks out his hands; and there is hair on his palms. The officers start can’t believe what they see. They just wanted him out of there because they were so scared. They threw out the boy and his sister and they both ended up surviving the war.

Many years later, someone went to interview this man, who still had hair on his palms. The interviewer asked him what is was. He said when he was a little kid, he got burned terribly on his hands and they grafted skin from an area of his body that had hair. His whole life he was so embarrassed but the very thing that he thought “why?” was what ended up saving him and his sister.

This story came from a speech that answers this very question. I have never heard this question answered better than by Rabbi Gavriel Friedman, or “Rav Gav” as they call him. He is a brilliant man who is intriguing to listen to, and humour is his specialty. Definitely not your typical Rabbi!

The way he goes about answering this question is by building up from the beginning. He explains it with very logical concepts, in addition to fascinating stories. It is long so you don’t have to listen to the whole thing, or even any of it, but I highly recommend that you do, even just the first 3 minutes! It gave me a completely new perspective on this concept and really gave me a lot more clarity.

Let me know what you think of the video in the comments! Or if you want me to do a sum up of the video in another post!

Bad things sometimes happen to good people; the key to happiness is to try and make the best of, and be thankful for the hand we are dealt. -Colleen Houck

The Ultimate Protection

Almost a year ago, my family experienced nothing less than an open miracle.

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Looks scary? What if I told you that my baby cousin, who wasn’t even 2 yet, was sitting right where that car hit?

Let me start from the beginning. My aunt lives in New Jersey and came to Toronto for Passover. She was staying by her in-laws and was getting everyone ready to go say hi to her parents. Her husband put their daughter in the car while she went to go get the other two kids ready. Her husband left the car door opened so that the baby wouldn’t be hot.

He stood there for a few minutes and then walked away to go see if the other kids were almost ready. Less than 30 seconds after he walked away, a car rammed into the side of the car. Right where he had been standing.

He ran to the baby who was screaming and completely covered, head to toe, in glass. Through her screaming, she spit out her pacifier because there was glass in her mouth. His father, who is a well known pediatrician, came running to inspect her. Thank God, the only thing she had on her was a tiny scratch on her pinky toe. My aunt spent the next hour trying to get all of the glass out of the baby’s hair.

The car was totalled and the car seat couldn’t be used anymore, but my uncle and the baby were completely fine. How? Well had my uncle not walked away at that second, the car would have hit him. Had he not left the car door opened, the car would have hit the baby directly. Since the door on the van was opened, it acted as a doubled layer and protected the baby.

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All these little things seemed like nothing before the car hit. But after, these little things saved two lives. Nothing in this world is insignificant. When we begin to see that, we start to look at everything with a whole new perspective.

Do you believe in miracles? Well, you should. In fact, life itself is a big miracle. There are so many things that are beyond our understanding. There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; or you can live as if everything is a miracle. -Albert Einstein