God-Breeze

He is so good about giving me just what I need, exactly when I need it.  This was posted on a Jewish Blog last night, taken from an article written by a Rabbi.  And it couldn’t have come at a better time:

When Hashem examines a soul before it is born and sees that it can make converts and influence mankind to return to God, He sees to it that this soul is surrounded by controversy.  Looking at the world today, we see examples of people who possess this quality and are, in fact, successful in arousing people to do teshuvah, and even making converts.  Hashem Himself ensures that there is a certain stormwind encircling such a person….The controversy surrounding a greater person is expressed at a higher level.  For instance, certain people may say he/she is acting improperly… or that he/she is out of line according to a particular religious issue.  …Or, for example, in the case of a simple Jew who has the quality to bring people back to G-d, others on a similar simple level might say, “Who do they think they are? You know what? They’re not so great! …All kinds of lashon hora [evil talk] surround this soul.  Even further, although it is for the good, G-d sees to it that this type of slander is readily accepted as fact.

At that time, G-d directed the controversy in a way that the lashon hora was accepted.  In other words, it wasn’t slander that just hung in the air without adhering to the person. It caught on and was accepted as fact. This is what is meant by controversy.

Why must this soul be surrounded by controversy?  …According to Rebbe Nachman, a soul which has a strong ability to positively arouse others to good and cause converts, by definition, enjoys no peace.  It must be surrounded by controversy.  This ensures sincere motives on the part of those who come close or convert through the influence of this soul.  The situation of unrest applies both to this influential soul as well as to those who are influenced.  …It is simply another test for those who desire to come closer to G-d.  Someone will whisper in their ear: ‘‘You are associated with this individual? Stay far away!”  They are tested at every step. They have no quiet, which serves to check if their love is authentic. If they prevail nonetheless, it will be clear that their motives are proper and genuine, and they will be allowed to draw near.You may encounter someone who is gifted with the ability to speak in such a convincing manner that there is no room for argument, since you know they are right. In this case, it seems you have little choice but to draw near.  Nonetheless, if you know in advance that this same person will be bombarded by all sorts of things said about them, you can come to the proper conclusion and draw near nonetheless. When you overcome the challenge, it proves the purity of your motives. That is how it works. The world is like a gold refinery that purifies us to the extent we allow. This is our work here and the purpose of our lives.

Tzaddikim who are on a high level don’t experience life’s difficulties as suffering, because they know everything is for the best.  They are able to say ”This too is for the good”.  …When we want to truly draw a little closer to [HaShem], barriers will be experienced.  The obstacles aren’t necessarily only on the outside. There are also the internal doubts which sprout up and seem overwhelming, G-d forbid. It helps a great deal to remember that this world is a place of purification and tikkun [correction], meant to refine us. Happy is the person who realizes and accepts this as the true nature of how the world operates.

May we be blessed with progressively higher levels of awareness of how everything is for the good, and the knowledge of how to successfully navigate through life’s sea of challenges.  May G-d grant us the ability to draw close to Him along with the strength and courage to weather any storm surrounding the truth. May we merit the complete redemption speedily in our days. Amen.

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