Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Do Some People Have It Easy?

You know the feeling. I think everyone knows it, but most people won't admit to feeling that pang of jealousy.

There's always that guy in the neighborhood, the one who seems to have everything going for him. His Dad is a richie with a Lexus and a mansion, he has lots of friends, good health, a great spouse, and happy, healthy children. And so often, we think, "why can't I have it easy like Mr. Goldberg over there? He's got nothing to worry about."

I heard Paysach Krohn speak last year, and he said "nobody has it easy!" And R' Ezriel Tauber in one of his books says that "you will not find a Jewish family today which is not somehow, somewhere suffering."

I'm not sure if I agree with the above statements. After all, the gemara in Avodah Zara states that God does not give people a nisayon they can't handle. So any challenge that we receive is tailor-made for us. God gave us the special abilities needed to deal with the unique challenges facing us.

So perhaps the people with the easy lives can't sweat the big challenges. Maybe their biggest challenge is not going shopping every day. Also, it could be that just having a content life can be a big challenge in and of itself. Many people need a rough situation as a kick in the butt in order to improve their davening and avodas Hashem.

Also, many rishonim discuss the question of "tzaddik v'ra lo, rasha v'tov lo." Conversely, there's also the concept of "pairosaihem b'olam hazeh," getting reward in this world. Thus, there can also be a "tzaddik v'tov lo."

So if some people out there are getting the "tov lo" treatment, I find it hard to believe that "nobody has it easy." And again, their nisayon might be to find God and a meaningful life even in a state of prosperity.

So does anyone have it easy? It's impossible to know. We can't find out the details of everyone's personal lives, including the tzaros that may be well-hidden from the public. But to say that NOBODY has it easy -- where's the evidence?


Blogger Michelle said...

I'm sorry, but I respectfully disagree. You know that people put on shows all the time. What about the people who know this guy well? Sure, the guy's not happy, bec. American society demands that we're not happy so we buy the latest product to make us happy, but maybe his Shalom Bayis isn't what it is, maybe his child is cranky....I don't know. I have a hard time believing that people really have it soo easy.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Isaac Kaplan said...

But again, Michelle, you're just speculating that they're not having it easy. How do you know for sure? Maybe they fall into the category of "rasha v'tov lo"?

5:00 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

How do you know that they're Reshaim?
What makes someone into a Rasha.

Can one be considered a rasha if he learns all day but speaks Lashon hora all night? What are the qualifications?

9:12 PM  
Anonymous feministic charedi said...

I really dont think that anyone has it easy these days. Everyone has something. I guess the point in question though is whether or not one can quantify how bad someone's suffering is. Obviously, this is not possible. Even if it would be be feasible such quantifications would be meaningless because you also need to take into account how the person reacts to their situation.
Maybe two people have the same "level" of suffering but one can deal with it better than the other. But maybe if that person deals with his situation better this makes his suffering less intense. So we are back to square one.
Essentially, I think that everyone suffers but some people suffer less than others.

10:14 PM  
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