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Prison Juice

Prison Juice

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The Torah has no concept of prison as a punishment. Why? Because prison is a futile place. A place where you are told, "You must be here, but you must not change what this place is. You will grow older, but you must not take charge of your life. You will live, but you must not give life."

But a living human being must make change in his world, must take charge of his life, must give life to others.


There are times G‑d will put a soul in prison -- often a very lofty soul, such as Joseph. It is like being held in a vice. Squeezed with the ultimate of futility, the deepest powers of the soul break through.


The worst prison is when G‑d locks you up. He doesn't need guards or cells or stone walls. He simply decides that, at this point in life, although you have talent, you will not find a way to express it. Although you have wisdom, there is nobody who will listen. Although you have a soul, there is nowhere for it to shine.

And you scream, "Is this why you sent a soul into this world? For such futility?"

That is when He gets the tastiest essence of your juice squeezed out from you.


See also:
The Black Carriage
Days of Light

From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Subscribe and get your dose daily. Or order Rabbi Freeman’s book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.
Artwork by Sarah Kranz.
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Paulus van Beek Lakaland FL November 22, 2015

Prison Test od G-d When I was put in Jail, innocent, I was first questioning G-d why He did allow this to happen? Instead of being angry with G-d, asking for justice and vengeance ‘my’ way, I should be thankful for it! But that is against my own emotions! But slowly on when I continue in my Torah-studies, I was going to realize more and more that the very G-d Himself was ‘pruning’ me, and showing area’s in my own life that was in a need to be changed! During the intense daily studies of His Divine Word (Torah); it had changed me, even I though “I was OK”, but G-d was thinking different! I was living my own way under the ‘permissive will’ and not under His ‘perfect will’! I was following my ‘own’ ideas and mindset thinking instead that of G-d’s! I was under the impression I was under His ‘perfect will’, but I was blinded in some areas of my life! I was in a need for some ‘adjustments’ by HaShem! It seems to be strange, but I am thankful to G-d of His Divine operation for my personal life! Yes, the arrest of the police is based on (again) on false accusations, but G-d was working all things in behalf of them who love G-d and who walk obediently according to His Divine purpose. Reply

Esther Laguna Beach, California USA via chabadofmv.com December 25, 2011

prison I too was imprisoned for disobeying the law but the law proved tainted . I paid a horrible price of losing my son while imprisoned.
I wondered what G-d would let this happen . I had led an honest life.
I learned that the worst souls were in that prison, the correctional officers were anti-any religious beliefs or spirituality. I witnessed a new testament bible kicked across the floor by a guard. There was no healing for me inside those walls.
Only i learned to stay away from those people with less than honest intentions that had the power to take my spirit. Upon release to society I learned to be cautious in my dealings with people who I had trusted . Knowing that vulnerability brought those bad spirits in like vultures.
Jail is No place for even the worst murderers. Maybe give the prisoners jobs cleaning animal cages at the zoo for the interaction with G-d s creation the animals could bring about reform and soul healin Reply

Tzvi Freeman Thornhill, Ontario May 9, 2009

For Anonymous in Los Angeles The thought was originally stated about Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the Rebbe's father-in-law and predecessor, who sat in prison seven times. He himself wrote how prison brought him to see the world from an entirely higher perspective. Reply

Anonymous Los Angeles, CA via jewishpeabody.com May 9, 2009

Prison Juice The article states, "...There are times G-d will put a soul in prison...often a very lofty soul, such as Joseph."

I do not understand why G-d chooses a lofty soul to inflict upon it such agonizing punishment. Reply

Ephraim Ben-Uri Fuengirola, Spain December 27, 2008

Prison Thanks for the uplifting article.

The Torah has no statement on physical prison because our Nation was on the move. Maintaining material prisons was not an option for our new People heading towards furtile ground.

I do not believe that G-d locks up individuals symbolically so that we can´t be full and alive humans. That is not His work. He does not punish us that way. Psychological aspects of mental illness are the evil work of society and humans.

However, the genetic-based illnesses of mental disorders such as psychiatric sicknesses have a predispositional basis, so we can blame G-d for not creating us perfectly.

I have been in a real prison - "Squeezed with the ultimate of futility", and it was pure agony. And I have been in a symbolic prison that G-d creates - "...juiced squeezed out from you.", and an imperfect brain gene is a real curse from Nature.

So your article really hit home. I am not ashamed of either, but I would rather have never experienced them. Reply

Anonymous suffern, usa November 20, 2007

MY dear friends ITS so true you can be in prison with out being in prison. we must look at dovbers life and examine it during this time and see what is life means and what it can teach us.What a great holy yid he was .before reb dovber of lubavitch died he said lchaim which means to life . Lets life by doing g-ds will then we are free from prison. Reply

Jeff Owens USA December 14, 2006

One who has been there Thanks so much for the insight. Now that I'm back on the "outside", I've been wrestling with how I ended up "inside" to begin with. Yes - definitely G-d had my soul in prison long before my body. In my case it took putting my body there as well, because my heart was too hard and proud to cry out.

Man's idea of discipline is so flawed, so pitiful an attempt at redemption. Unfortunately, as the secular progressives gain more and more power, and the world sinks lower into depravity, the problem is only going to get worse.

We really need to back off of this attitude of, "You're a worthless criminal, so we're going to lock you up for as long as we can." For me, it took being in "there" to realize that's not a solution. The solution starts with G-d and the heart. Reply

Dolf Kruger Pretoria, South Africa September 5, 2005

Regular updates I enjoy reading these articles Reply