Why do we often see married couples who yearn for children and would be wonderful parents, yet perpetually suffer from infertility? Contrast this with the many children born to parents who never wanted them or neglect and abuse them — whether physically, emotionally, verbally, etc.


You ask a very powerful question. It is a question that can be expanded to include so many other questions—why are there such generous poor people who have no means, and such miserly individuals blessed with so much wealth? Why do many good people suffer so much troubles, and some seemingly horrible people have such power that they abuse? Why are some of the most wonderful people taken from this world so young in middle of the many good things that they are accomplishing, while some older people writhe in pain miserably awaiting their end?

The questions of "why" go on and on and in truth we really don't have the answers to these questions. G‑d created the world in which there is suffering, pain and difficulty. The point of it is for us to somehow overcome the difficulty and grow as people because of it. Parenthetically, it also provides us with freedom of choice, because if everything and everyone that was good was obviously rewarded for the good, who would choose a wrong path?

We do have a teaching though, that the challenges that G‑d gives people are never beyond the capability of the individual. This means, that though the challenge might seem at the moment completely overpowering, deep within the individual he has the strength and the capacity to overcome it. Moreover, while we can't always see the benefit of the challenge, ultimately we will realize (and sometimes we even realize this in retrospect after overcoming a particular difficult situation) that it was, in truth, for our benefit and helped us find within ourselves a source of strength that we never would have found otherwise.

Does this answer why some children are mistreated or not wanted? Does it answer why some couples so fervently wishing for children are barren? Obviously not. I don't think our purpose is to justify any of the suffering or pain in the world. We are meant to protest to G‑d and ask, plead and beg that He put an end to the suffering and difficulty. Of course, we are also meant to open up our own selves and help in any way that we can. But, in some way, I think it does provide us with a little bit of comfort in knowing that G‑d is running the world and there is a reason for everything that is happening, even though we cannot comprehend it.

I hope this helps somewhat.

Chana Weisberg for