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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

G-d afflicts those He loves

Daf Yomi Yevamos 64

Abraham and Sarah were married for many years until Isaac was finally born to them when she was ninety and he, one hundred.  Isaac and Rebecca similarly waited decades until the birth of the twins, Jacob and Esau.  And our matriarch Rachel wasn’t blessed with children for many years of marriage to Jacob. 

These were our righteous forebears.  What did they do wrong to deserve the pain and anguish of years of barrenness?

Rabbi Isaac taught: Why were our forefathers barren?  Because the Almighty desires the prayers of the righteous. 

Our first reaction when things don’t go our way is to get angry or frustrated with the Almighty or even to question His providence.  But here Rabbi Isaac teaches us an incredible lesson: Sometimes G-d inflicts suffering upon His children in order to deepen His relationship with them!  People who are wicked He doesn’t bother with, since He knows they won’t respond appropriately to the challenge.   It’s specifically the righteous that G-d inflicts, in order to motivate them to deepen their relationship with Him.

G-d doesn’t need us.  But He desires us.  Ultimately, He created us because He is good but you can’t be good in a vacuum.  You need others to bestow your goodness upon.  And so He created humankind – creatures that He can call His children; people that He can have a loving, giving relationship with.  And so He desires our prayers, He desires our relationship.

The Almighty wants to hear from you.  No prayer is too big or too small for him.  Every conversation you have with Him is meaningful and desirable to Him.  Open up your heart and mouth and sing His praise.  Beseech Him for your needs and wants.  He wants to hear from you.  He loves to hear from you.

And next time something doesn’t go your way don’t get upset at G-d.  Be thankful to Him.  He only sends these wake-up calls to righteous people who are going to respond by reaching out to Him.  If He has afflicted you, it means He loves you.  It means He desires a deeper relationship with you.

Respond to the call.  You are righteous!  You are a child of G-d.  You deserve to have a direct line of communication with Him.  And He desires to hear from you constantly!