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The holy and wise scholar, the Chazon Ish once said,” it’s not a big deal to have faith and confidence in G-d’s ways when life’s experiences are smiling at you, it’s a big deal however, to smile when you’re feeling low and things are not going your way.”

In our daily prayers in the portion of the evening service in the blessing of Hashkivainu, it’s written; “…and you shall remove the devil from in front of us and from behind us…” this verse is referring to the process we go through each time we face a dilemma or any experience, where we need to make the right decision.

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Before we need to make a choice, we’re not sure what the right thing to do is. “Should I learn this new topic or not?” “I’ll probably not make it into the school any way, why try.” “Everyone who opens a new store usually fails, I should forget the idea altogether.” “I’m not qualified enough.” “That person is better at this than I am, so I’m not even going to begin.” And so on and so on. And after we finally make a choice we question our decision 100 times over. “Why did I do that,” or “I wish I would have never tried;   I knew I wouldn’t succeed.” “I’m such a loser, everyone is better than me.” “I should have done the test better,” or “done that differently and then all this wouldn’t have happened to me,” etc., etc., etc.

When we do not succeed at something we set out to do, whether it’s opening a new shop, starting a new career, or learning a new trade we make ourselves sick over why things didn’t work out. We wish we had all the answers in the world at our disposal. Before we set out on our new adventure it takes us lots of time to decide and in the end if our choice wasn’t successful or didn’t work out for some reason, we can’t stop aggravating ourselves for being so foolish and going ahead with a plan that was destined to fail to begin with. All these thoughts are not true. Not the ones at the start of something new and not the ones that are waiting there at the end of the unsuccessful road we took.

All those thoughts are the thoughts of the devil waiting at all times to shoot us down from anything positive that we set out to do. Whether it’s learning or working or helping someone out. Anything positive will always be meet with open arms and closed doors by the devil himself. The opposite is true as well. If heaven forbid we wish to do something which is wrong and hurtful, that same devil will always be there to encourage and push us forward towards that bad act we wish to do.

With my opening words I mentioned the holy Rabbi and scholar, the Chazon Ish, who clearly stated that when things are rolling our way and going in the direction we want, it’s easy to be positive and productive. But what happens when that devil is standing and waiting for you as you failed or messed up at something? How happy and positive do you feel at that moment or even for some time after?

Sometimes we feel so low after getting some bad news or taking some bad fall, that we can’t seem to find any way to pick ourselves up. We seem to only be able to look back and not ahead. Our thoughts are filled with sadness and despair and any form or shape of faith seems so far away. We move on physically, wake up in the morning and try to go on with our daily routine, but our hearts are bleeding and hurting so much that we can barely concentrate on anything that we are doing. That’s the hardest time to have or feel faith in our G-d in heaven.

Everything is from Hashem. The good and also what seems to us as not good. We don’t see the full picture and therefore we must trust in Hashem, especially when things are tough.

May we believe that all that happens to us is always good, and for the good. Even when it’s so hard for us to see or feel it. May we have the ability to smile when things are tough and not going the way we want it to. May we feel deep down in our hearts in the place that is so sensitive and vulnerable how much Hashem loves us, sees our pain and sees all our great efforts to smile even though we are feeling so down. May we believe that Hashem is with us and is hugging us. That G-d is lifting us so high to an even better place, than we were in before. And from that point on may we have the strength to pick ourselves up again and move on to the next decision and next experience.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com