Finding Peace in the Tumult

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Our world is is tumultuous times.

  • War
  • Loss
  • Mourning
  • Economic crisis
  • Natural disasters
  • Pandemic

That’s just a few of the issues we grapple every single day. Our world may be more technologically advanced than ever, but the struggles seem to always compete with the solutions. Perhaps the issues is we’re looking at the wrong solution…

We can’t fix the world. It’s simply not within our abilities. Every fix we try to implement will be outdone. Coronavirus is an excellent example of this – our attempts at masking led to variants more effective at beating masks. Our attempts at vaccinations led to strains resistant to vaccines. Only HaShem can provide a refuah for a makka that He brings. The same goes for every other issue.

Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky was recently niftar. Recent temperature checks of the polar caps (both of them) showed record heat increase. The invasion in Ukraine has not gone how anyone would have expected. All these things are also controlled by HaShem.

No matter the sanctions, Russia will do what it’s destined to do. No matter it’s strength, the country will also continue to fumble its operations. In the meantime, it seems to be more that more suffer.

The reality is that free will is a misnomer. Our free will, as previously discussed, extends to our free will of thought and intent. Our actions are controlled by HaShem. He will either let us or stop us from doing mitzvos and aveiros, and it’s dependent on our thoughts, intents, and efforts in tefillah.

The best cure to a disease is prayer, because only HaKadosh Baruch Hu can truly heal. Everything else is a pale imitation, a paper dragon. Once we realize that, we can turn to the true solution. Life may seem bitter at time, but that’s our own shortsightedness. HaShem only does things for the good but we often can’t see beyond our own two feet.

The Bobover Ruv taught on this concept of suffering in his commentary on this week’s parsha. There was a tzaddik who’s son passed prematurely. He went to the pub and ordered a British porter, known to be exceptionally bitter. As he drank it, he remarked that most people think the beer is bitter, but it is actually sweet. Only the unrefined see the bitter, the pain. He can taste the sweetness, know the good. Just as the beer is bitter to the unrefined, so too is life painful and miserable to the shortsighted. If they were only see a bit farther, they would understand gam zu le tov, this too is for the good.

May we be zoche to see the good that comes through what seems to be suffering, and realize HaShem only intends the best in every circumstance. Then, and only then, will we find peace in the tumult.