Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life.
Register »

Why Do People Suffer?

Autoplay

Why Do People Suffer?

There are certain questions that may be better left unanswered? A brief thought about why we shouldn't try to understand human suffering.
Pain, Suffering & Tragedy

Join the Discussion

Sort By:
13 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Rabbi Weinstein July 18, 2013

RE: Suffering This discussion is in regards to the victim of suffering. In regards to a perpetrator, justice must be served, as the Torah teaches us. Reply

Steve Las Vegas, NV. USA July 18, 2013

Suffering So if someone commits a crime we shouldn't try to understand why they did it because we would lose our compassion then? Reply

Anonymous Arizona, USA April 8, 2013

Why Do People Suffer This teaching makes sense. For G-d is unfathomable. And only Him can understand the reasons why a person must suffer or not. His compassion is infinitetly misunderstood by us humans. And this is because we feel that when someone do something wrong to make others suffer, the abuser needs to be punish. In this case we do not place ourselves in the shoes of that other person. We do not understand if such person is mentally ill or have been traumatised in an early time of their life and this is an excuse for them to become abusers. Or there are others who think selfishly. Why do such and such have so much and "I" don't? There are many reasons why other suffer. Many times this suffering is caused by others who resent others, for whatever reason. But Hashem, blessed be He, knows the secrets of the heart & mind of every living being. Every action is scrutinized by our King, and a righteous judgement will be performed. Of this, I am certain. The Holocaust was an act of evil by evil men. Reply

Anonymous April 7, 2013

the two ways of suffering Why do people suffer - 1. because not obeying the Law or 2. because of other people. Can we prevent suffering? We can prevent the first suffering with faith and love to Our Creator and it is much easier way than that to wait the people to convert their cruelty into compassion.But for the prevention from the first and the second suffering we must rely on G-d. Reply

barry wicksman saipan April 6, 2013

SUFFERING Regardless of its nature suffering can be reduced through right action and thought and this includes cultivating mindfulness on the cause of suffering, mindfulness of who we are, prayer, and cultivating an attitude of understanding and acceptance in the presence of suffering. Reply

Rabbi Aryeh Weinstein December 27, 2012

RE: why do people suffer Susana, thank you for your comments. Reply

Susana garmizo Hollywood,Fl December 26, 2012

why do people suffer Rabbi, Thank you for this lecture. I have seen and questioned this very question. Your answer makes so much sense. Only Hashem has these answers. It is now clear to me that I must not judge but be a friend and give only mercy and sympathy. Thank you Reply

Jack M Kamen Indianapolis, IN December 23, 2012

Suffering I am afraid the lecture comes off as a cop-out. You are assigning anthromorphism to G-d and pulling forth words and thoughts with little, if any basis.To transform 'you shall not see my face' to an apologia for suffering is an almost unfathamable stretch.
As of now, I do not believe the question is answerable. Perhaps it will be, in the unknown furure. Reply

Steven Brown Ogden, Utah December 21, 2012

Suffering plus Empathy Equals Humanity As human beings, G-d does not speak of us as individuals meant to be alone. G-d said, when he finished Adam, "It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a help mete."

Compassion and empathy are both intended to offer one who suffers hope and support. As children, this behavior in our parents laid the academic foundation for our existence. There is not a single human being on earth, given his or her daily routine, that does not, at some point, need to give or receive compassion or empathy. It is at this point I consider the presumptuous behavior of the brother of the prodigal son. Did he live a flawless existence?

I agree with you, Rebe Weinstein, when you say that there are some things, one being the particulars of suffering, that one does not need to understand. I does not understand the particulars of the suffering of a neighbor but,one shares good fortune with a neighbor. The neighbor has three children while he has none and resources to spare. Reply

Dorothy Bucher Eugene,Oregon USA December 19, 2012

suffering: okay, I have had a very bad life; I have been sick, and mentally ill most of my life, in and out of hospitals, in a lot of pain. Most of my life with miserable and full of pain and nonfunctioning. I was not able to become a full human being, be productive, love other people and be in relationships, and even hardly keep a roof over my head.so I asked at the end of my life very angrily, why I was alive because I wasted my whole life. I was not even a whole person. And I had no reason to be here. I decided there was no God as we like to think of; no justice. And that all of the universe and life and death is a higher form of physics that we don't understand yet. We are already analyzing what makes up matter, to the quantum level of reality. I cannot believe that there is a God as we like to think it is. The reality is, there is some type of creative huge system or Creator, that is in no way related to our needs or logic. Thatthat's we cannot understand it.I don't have enough room to wrie Reply

Anonymous December 18, 2012

Interesting take on things; i've had to understand my suffering sometimes, so as to overcome it. I asked Hashem the same question, and it was revealed to me that people suffer, cos a lot the times, man doesn't do enough to prevent suffering, (e.g, allowing/not preventing a crazed dog from roaming ones street, which could result in an injury to a child). There is a suffering that comes from wicked entities just being cruel/unjust, as shown in isaiah 54:15 " if you are attacked, it is not my doing" . There is a suffering that comes because we are being tested to establish how mature we are in righteouness, sometime, so as to determine what to allot us. There is a suffering that comes because we have sinned/broken universal principles. Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma December 18, 2012

our true compass: compassion, our true north You are right, and you are wrong. We do wrestle with this question, still, as did Moses, and the recent events occurring as they did, on Chanukah, did bring us all to question, and we questioned our laws too, on gun control, on needing to "act", to do something to avert a further tragedy. But beyond this we came together, in asking, the eternal difficult and perhaps forever unanswerable question. Of course we cannot EVER condone suffering, make excuses for it, but on a deeper level, we have this very Jewish feeling, of Divine Providence which pervades even, our Holocaust stories, meaning the HAND of GOD so visible in the miracle might be also part of the entire story That' a very difficult place, and we can articulate this. I CAN and do. If we were Tolstoy, writing War and Peace we would as authors, know the end, and we would know the fate of our characters. We would direct that fate, as authors. I am saying G_d is a G_d of ultimate mercy. A PROMISE will be kept. I know it. Reply

Irene Glen Burnie, MD USA December 18, 2012

why do people suffer Thank you for sharing this answer. It was what I needed to hear for reasons only God knows. G-d's blessings be upon you and your family. Shalom. Reply

Related Topics