Suffering & Greatness



QUESTION:
If suffering causes greatness, how is it that when the wise
men were asked, chavivin alecha yisurin, do you love suffering? One case after the other they replied no, lo hein vlo sechoron, they didn't want suffering.
ANSWER:
Could I say that it's good for you to suffer, and therefore I am not going to help you, because suffering will make you great? No! That's wickedness. I am enjoined by the Torah and by common sense; I must try to help you alleviate your suffering. I can't worry about your spiritual progress, I have to worry about your physical benefits; that's a general rule. You say no, let the man be hungry, because while he is hungry he won't learn gluttony, he won't pursue things that perhaps even would harm his health.

     When people don't have much to eat, usually they live longer, people that have too much to eat, we know they kill themselves. No that's not our business. Our business is to supply people with all kind of good things, let them use their discretion.

     Only when suffering did come on somebody, when it was unsought, then he looked back and he recognized the value that he received from it. It's always a post facto thing. We never seek suffering, because our bodies are not ours, and just as we are commanded to help our fellow man alleviate his suffering, we have to help this fellow man alleviate his suffering. We have no right to inflict suffering on our bodies, they are only loaned to us; we and our bodies are two different entities. We can't make our bodies suffer because we want spiritual progress. It's like I cannot make you suffer.

     It's like a husband and wife, the wife tells the husband, "no more pastry in our house because I have to reduce." You can't make your husband suffer because of you. Therefore your poor body doesn't have to suffer because of you.


Good Shabbos To All,
Rabbi Avigdor Miller

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