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Obstacles - what do they mean?



What the Rav said:


Every obstacle that a person faces, it’s always for the benefit of that person.


A person needs to accept with love all the obstacles that he faces.


Every obstacle a person faces, he must accept with love.


And, on every obstacle, a person needs to know that Hashem wants it that way.


Every obstacle is given to a person, only to increase his reward.


My thoughts:


This piece from the Rav brings to mind a conundrum which I haven’t yet had the merit to solve, and perhaps never will.


It seems to me that there are times when Hashem gives us obstacles so that we make more effort, we push through and overcome. And, like the Rav says here, Hashem gives us greater reward for our efforts in overcoming the obstacles.


However, there are other times (I think) when Hashem is giving us a message that this course of action is not a good idea, it’s not going to work, it’s not going to be good for you.


Further, even if this course of action is good, perhaps now is not the right time – Rabbenu has also taught us of the danger of ‘forcing the hour’.


So, my million-shekel question is how do we know? When we face an obstacle – how do I know when Hashem is trying to tell me that this is not a good idea, or when He is saying ‘strengthen yourself, push through and overcome it’?


I don’t know. If you have an answer, I’d love to hear it.

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Reuven
Reuven
15 ago 2021

Thanks Darin. I appreciate what you wrote, but I don't think it answers my question, which is how to know - in the moment itself - when I'm facing an obstacle, whether Hashem wants me to continue, or to stop.


However, with amazing Hashgachah (Divine Providence), I think Hashem showed me the answer I was looking for this Shabbat. In the Likutei Halachot commentary on the weekly parasha, I found the following teaching.


It was quite long, so I'll paraphrase here, and I apologise in advance if this short version doesn't do it justice.


Rav Natan writes that there are two modes of grasping this world. Mode One is to be relate to this world as if this world is…


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dsunley
13 ago 2021

Rav Brody, speaking in the name of Rav Arush, taught an answer to this.


The trick is understanding that we have two radically different modes of operating - looking forward and looking back. When we look forward, we need to assume that it's all on us - that we need to be prudent, strategic and conscious in all our undertakings, to do our best with the resources we have towards the goals that seem best to us based on our best reasonable understanding, situation, and circumstances.


But the instant the test is complete, and is in the past, we are to understand that everything in the past, including and especially the results of our own past efforts, whether they succeeded…


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