Sunday, February 26, 2012

No Pain No Gain


נס - Nes - Miracle

ניסיון - Nisayon - Trial

"All the affairs of the world, whether for the good or for the bad, are trials [nisyonos] for a man"… [Mesilas Yesharim [Path of the Just] Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto]

When a person is destined to reach a level which is much higher than his present rung, it is necessary for him to undergo a descent first. [Lubavitcher Rebbe]

Before a person experiences a miracle - נס - , he is given a trial - ניסיון. There is no ascent [aliyah] without a prior descent [yeridah]. The lower the descent, the higher the potential ascent.

G-d tries the righteous, for knowing that the righteous will do His will, He desires to make them even more upright, and so He commands them to undertake a test, but He does not try the wicked, who would not obey.

Thus all trials in the Torah are for the good of the one being tried. [Nachmanidies, Commentary on the Torah; Genesis, p. 275; Chavel translation; ]

From here, we learn a number of important points. First, the purpose of a nisayon is not to reveal anything new to G-d, but to increase the spiritual reward of the person by bringing forth his or her latent greatness into actual deeds of righteousness.

Second, a person is only sent a nisayon that he or she has the potential to "pass," provided the person uses his free will properly.

Third [and this is implicit in the first point], the nisayon is intended for the good of the person—to elevate the person spiritually.

Nes can also be translated as "banner": The test is meant to "lift a banner" and reveal to the world, and to the person himself, the potential hidden within a human being.

6 comments:

  1. Ramchal at his sublime best.

    This Italian Jewish Rabbi has helped me immensely. Vilna Gaon another personal inspiration was influenced by this great Rabbi.

    In the macro world, "Israel" is the "nes" - miracle, banner...that has risen to every challenge and trial to reveal to the world via Kiddush HaShem the very name of HaShem and His Holy Torah. Baruch HaShem !!!

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  2. Life itself is a yerida [descent]. A soul comes down to the world, to encounter many tests throughout life, in order that after death, the soul can rise to a higher level than that from which it previously came.

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  3. Devorah, you outmacroed me :-)

    Great and deep observation.
    Todah Rabbah.

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  4. thank you for printing this, Devorah. Such timeliness. I am definately being tested in the past few days. There is a person who one upmanships me and I have been battling the yetzer hara. She talks down to me like I am a toddler and need her to wipe my nose....it is a nisayon for sure.
    Purim is coming up and 5 gedolei Yisrael are ill- one of the them is the gadal hador and Iran and Syria are poised for nastiness and I know this is a test for me to pass in the spiritual realm in order to bring moshiach and not delay him because of any sinat chinam on my part.......AAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

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  5. Mastering the art of staying silent during stressful times is a very useful trait to have. Don't give up... just appreciate her for what she is: someone to practise on!

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  6. I will try my best. Practice is a good way to look at it, too.

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