Many a theological mystery has vexed scholars over the ages, but the average person loses no sleep on account of these enigmas. On the other hand, there is hardly a person who hasn't been bothered by the fact that G‑d allowed the atrocities of the Holocaust to be perpetrated against so many innocent men, women and children. The question would be valid no matter the identity of the victims of such unspeakable cruelty; but it is amplified considering that the victims were G‑d's beloved chosen nation, His treasured people who had remained fiercely faithful to Him despite millenniums of degradation and persecution.

While the Holocaust is one of the most glaring examples of unfathomable suffering inflicted against guiltless victims, we are faced with similar questions on a daily basis: Why do the righteous suffer? Why does G‑d allow innocent children to be abused? Can there be a rationale behind 9/11? Where has G‑d been while His children have been scorned, exiled, persecuted and massacred for the past 2000 years?

King Solomon writes (Ecclesiastes 2:13): "I have seen that wisdom has an advantage when coming from folly, as the advantage of light which emanates from darkness." Based on this adage, the mystics have explained that the greater the darkness, all the more intense is the light which follows. This can be compared to the greater appreciation for sight experienced by a hitherto blind person whose eyesight has been restored, or to a rubber band which the further back it is stretched, the greater the distance it will fly. Thus, the intense darkness our nation has endured will be followed by a brilliant era which we will savor all the more. In a similar vein, philosophers attempt to explain personal suffering. They are meant to toughen and sensitize the person who undergoes the challenges. "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you" (Isaiah 54:7).

But is this answer satisfactory? Can this "convenient" explanation justify all the suffering? G‑d created everything, including all the rules of nature and logic. Could He not have created a world wherein peace, harmony and light can be fully appreciated even when not preceded by the opposite? Could He not have devised ways for people to attain personal refinement without the suffering and pain? Why does our all-benevolent Father subject His children to unimaginable pain and suffering simply to comply with "rules" which He Himself conceived — and certainly has the ability to change and/or manipulate?

Following this reasoning, absolutely no explanation for the Holocaust will hold water. Even to say that there is some profound reason which only the infinite mind of the omnipotent Creator can fathom, isn't sufficient. Precisely because of His omnipotence, infinity, and lack of limitations, He could have orchestrated that any positive consequences these tragedies were intended to beget should be begotten through other, non-painful, means.

In other words, it's not that we are too small-minded and limited to understand the reason for suffering; there seemingly cannot be any adequate explanation!

Yet, despite this all we believe with perfect faith that G‑d is kind and good and all that He does is kindness. Although it makes no sense to us whatsoever, we stubbornly cling to the belief that "G‑d is faithful and without injustice; He is righteous and upright."

We are told (Isaiah 12:1): "And you shall say on that day [of the Messianic redemption], 'I thank You, O L-rd, for You were wrathful with me!'" The day will soon come when we will be able to appreciate how all which has transpired was pure kindness.

But until that day, G‑d doesn't want us to understand His mysterious ways. Pain is manageable when one understands that there is good reason for the suffering. Pain is unmanageable when it seems to be random and unjustified. If we were to understand why we suffer, or even if we could logically surmise that there is a reason which is beyond our comprehension, then it wouldn't hurt so much. And G‑d wants us to cry to Him from the very depths of our hearts: "For Your salvation, A-lmighty we yearn!" He doesn’t want us to rationalize suffering; He wants us to demand the Redemption.

Brothers and sisters, enough is enough. Let us turn to G‑d and insist that He bring an end to all suffering. That's what we want, and that's what G‑d wants.

Based on a public address by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbe's voice trembled with emotion as these words emanated from the depths of his holy heart.