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!”


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


3 thoughts on “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

  1. I think in the moment it’s really hard to make sense of why bad things happen to good people. We live in a society that believes a lot in the idea that good things happen to good people and bad things happen if you’re bad but it’s a narrative that doesn’t really serve anyone, especially those who experience any suffering. In my personal experiences, the key to understanding has come in the meaning-making that happens after the initial shock subsides


    1. I agree. We tend to only make sense of the reasoning behind certain events after we go through them. I think what confuses society is that many times the angels in the world suffer the most and the most horrific people are extremely successful. If you have a chance to watch that video, the whole theory is explained really well.


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