Va'eira: Comforting Pain

  • We are celebrating our 13thanniversary this Shabbos.  Not bad so far considering the rising divorce rates, though, it wasn't always so smooth.  Once things got so rocky that we nearly had to end the marriage.  It happened one Shabbos night, when we got into a huge fight on dessert.  I wanted ice cream, she wanted cake.  It got so heated, that we agreed that we can no longer continue to live with each other.  In the end, we realized that nobody in their right minds are going to marry either one of us, and it’s probably best to compromise.  They say compromising is tough, and this case was no different.  We ended up eating both.


Phew.  A tragedy averted.


Okay, on to more important things!


“And Moshe spoke so, to the Children of Israel and they did not listen to Moshe because of the anguish of spirit and hard work” (Shemos 6:9).


Rav Meir Simcha HaCohen explains that they did not listen to the previous message that Moshe gave, promising them that they will be brought to Eretz Yisroel.  He explains that this was because when people are going through difficult times, it is hard for them to focus on future success.  They are currently suffering greatly, and their main concern is to simply alleviate the suffering.  All talk of future happiness, simply does not speak to them.  Anybody who has undergone any painful medical issues (childbirth for women, cold for men), can understand this concept.


When a friend or family member is going through difficult times, sometimes it’s best not to make comments such as, “It’s all for the best,” or, “The future will be better.”  Yes, those things are true, but the person is so focused on the pain NOW, that it simply does not speak to them.  Rather focus on how to ease the present pain, which will alleviate their suffering.


Have a wonderful Shabbos!


Michael Winner