Dear Rabbi,

I have a lot of challenges in my life. What should I remember to help me cope?

Answer:

Thanks for reaching out to us.

When one is in a challenging situation, every minute feels like eternity. I hope that by now you're in a better situation than when you wrote, or at least it is improving.

The Talmud states that "G‑d does not make unreasonable demands from His creations.”1 Or as our Sages say in the Midrash, “G‑d does not make matters difficult for His creatures; He expects a person to perform according to his capacity.”2

This means that no matter what happens to us, or what challenges come our way, there is no doubt that we are also given the strength to handle them. While we might not immediately or automatically experience this strength, developing this perspective will itself give one strength to deal with challenges.

Now it could be that you have to dig deeper, reach into your potential, work with supportive people around you, pray to G‑d for assistance, or write to us at chabad.org; but there is no doubt that you have the capacity to reach even higher, and be happier and stronger than you were before this challenge. If you spend some time considering the history of your relationship with G‑d, you will probably see that you have done this before.

Please see our selection on The Jewish Take on Struggle, Challenge & Adversity.

Please keep me posted.

Rabbi Zalman Nelson, LMSW,
for The Judaism Website – Chabad.org