Baruch Hashem, It Couldn’t Be Worse

What do you do in those times when every fiber of your being has had it with Hashem? What do you do when the last thing you want is to believe?

4 min

David Ben Horin

Posted on 09.01.20

I hoped leaving Wall Street for Hi-Tech Israel would mean dealing with grownups instead of kids in suits. Boy, did I underestimate that one. Working in Israel is amazing.  

 

There is less office politics, less bickering, and a lot less drama. Everyone wants to succeed. Nobody has time for nonsense. Conversations are focused on accomplishing the goal at hand. People are measured not by the size of their tattoo, the color of their kippah, or how many chickens were spared to make their last meal – although the same cannot be said about how many chickpeas! Only by how much they advanced the team towards its current goal.  

 

We all have our eyes on the prize.  

 

Imagine the horror I felt when they assigned me to a team of people from Los Angeles. Every day someone found something new to complain about. Half the day was passed going through one drama to the next. The other half of the day was done under extreme pressure. Everybody pretended to be best friends, but you never knew which person was waiting to report to the boss your next mistake. 

 

It didn’t take long before one of my supervisors called me in for a “conversation.” I was screamed at like an errant child – the way they do in America. I had to face the fact that I could lose my job over politics and not performance. For it to happen in New York is par for the course. For it to happen here in Israel where this behavior is universally looked upon with ridicule and scorn, was heartbreaking.  

 

My faith in Hashem was shaken to the core.  

 

It Happened Before 

We had the same experience in the desert. We were slaves in Egypt for 210 years. Hashem blessed us with miracles that we could suddenly leave, and leave we did. But right after we left, we encountered the Sea of Reeds. The Egyptian army was pursuing us from the rear. We were surrounded.  

 

The worst possible scenario was unfolding. After centuries of national destitution, we were about to go through it again. It was Nachson ben Aminadav who saw past it all and took decisive action. Instead of giving up on God, he charged towards Him. He raced into the sea and kept walking. The water got deeper and deeper. It only strengthened his resolve. It was only when the water was about to kill him, and still he kept going, that Hashem parted the sea.   

 

Hashem turned our worst curse into our greatest blessing. Instead of a return to serving idolaters, we were given Eretz Yisrael, His Torah, and an eternity of being servants to God, instead of man 

 

When it Happens Again 

Faith isn’t built on a feather.  

 

Only when the crushing weight of the worst possible scenario in your life comes crashing down on you, ready to crush your heart, can you exert real faith 

 

What do you do in those times when every fiber of your being has had it with Hashem? What do you do when the last thing you want is to believe? 

 

  1. 1. Draw a line in the sand. Declare to Hashem that you will never give up on Him, no matter what happens next, or ever. Even if I lose a job, get sick, be laughed at, I will never stop praying to You every morning or guarding your Shabbat every week.  

 

  1. 2. Take one step forward. Add something, anything, to where you are holding. Recite one extra Psalm per day. Perform a small extra kindness. Build a new character trait. Like Nachson, when the world is pushing against you, attack. Take one offensive measure. Show Hashem that under any and every situation, you will keep moving. One small act under enormous duress can count in Heaven like a million huge acts under normal conditions.  

 

  1. 3. Ask Hashem for help. Ask for strength. Ask for help to hold strong in your emuna. Beg Him not to let go. Even if you only have the strength to talk to Him for a few minutes, do it! 

 

  1. 4. Thank Hashem. This once in a lifetime opportunity to serve G-d under severe heartache won’t last long. Where a mitzvah netted you pearls, under these circumstances mitzvot are bringing you diamonds. Thank Hashem for this test. Thank Him for the chance to do so much more in the same amount of time. Thank Him for the chance to push your emuna forward in the most excruciating circumstances. Thank Hashem for this opportunity to strengthen your emuna and come closer to G-d, which is the universal good in every test. 

 

  1. 5. Learn Emuna every day. Winston Churchill said it best, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” When forced into a crisis, change your priorities immediately. Learn emuna first every day – and go over everything you have learned a hundred times over. We always forget the things we need to know during those moments when we most need to know them. Read Rabbi Arush’s The Garden of Emuna, Rabbi Bachye’s Duties of the Heart (chapter The Gate of Emunah), and also read Psalm 37 until your eyeballs fall out! 

 

This type of situation isn’t a disaster, it’s a miracle. The chances of it happening are astronomical. Hashem sent you this exact situation to give you a soul correction, to clean your spirit, to strengthen your emuna, and for you to merit blessing in this world and the Next.  

 

It may have the look and feel of sandpaper, but it’s really gift-wrapping on something from the Garden of Eden. 

 

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David Ben Horin is the author of Thank God for IsraelZionism that Pays the Rent, and The Great Life Hack which you can have it for free! I also write first class content for startups, non-profits, and businesses of all sizes. If you are in the market for some great copy, check out my portfolio.


 

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