My rabbi at Temple Habonim asks the congregation to contribute to the family services for the high holidays. This year I faced my own sense of meaning, pain, and suffering when I had to have a mass removed from my colon on June 30th. This experience left me filled with gratitude in a way I have never experienced. During th elong recovery period, I looked at the physical and mental pain and struggle as joyful reminders that I got to live, rather than die, from what could have been a fatal prognosis. So I wrote this little blurb and I share it with all of you on this holy day.
- Everything is a gift.
- There is no such thing as “fair.”
- If life has meaning, then the pain also has meaning.
- There is an afterlife.
--David Baum, rabbi, businessman, orthodox Jew, and writer.
David Baum states these 4 premises with regards to suffering. He invites us to view our suffering from a place that is without judgment or spite or anger. He invites us to view suffering and loss as not being about fairness or deserving. He invites us to approach it from the human place of what is—pain is a gift when we allow it to have meaning.
This has been a year of pain—of gifts—that has brought me closer to my family and faith and for that I am thankful.