The last couple of months, it’s been striking me that more and more of us are being challenged to finally cross that ‘very narrow bridge’ that each of us has in our own lives, which is somehow separating us from God.

For one person, their ‘bridge’ might be the realization that they’ve been an absolutely awful, deranged, abusive spouse. For another person, the ‘bridge’ might be the sudden understanding that they’ve been wasting years – decades! – running after their business, or their job, or their big house in the pursuit of the chimera called ‘financial security’ which was meant to take away all their anxiety and finally make them feel good.

Yet another person has to cross the bridge that shows them that they’ve effectively turned into the parent they despised as a child, while someone else will have to cross a ‘bridge’ of extreme loneliness, or extreme despair, or extreme anger to find God and emuna and true solace on the other side.

But here’s one thing I’ve learned about crossing the very narrow bridge: no-one else can do it for you.

A spouse, a parent, a friend, even a rabbi or a Rebbe, they can stand on the side and shout encouragement, they can even tie ropes to you and try to drag you over, but when it all comes down to it, there is only one person who can actually cross that bridge: you.

This has a lot of profound implications, at least for me, when it comes to trying to figure out how to help people cross their narrow bridges. As time goes on, I’m seeing more and more that really the only help I can give them is encouragement to turn to Hashem with all of their problems.

Sure, I can spend hours having lengthy conversations about how cruel and unfair and mad the world is, or how ‘horrible’ everyone else is, or how ‘x’ is really the solution to the problem (‘x’ being anything other than complete emuna in Hashem) – but ultimately, I’ve discovered that all those words don’t actually help so much.

The same goes for trying to throw money or tangible help at someone else’s ‘big issue’. Anything I can do easily, that’s not going to drag me into madness and upset in my own life, I’m willing to do 100%. But in the past I used to think that I could somehow ‘fix’ other people’s issues, if I only threw enough understanding, cash or effort at the problem.

Now I know better.

Now, I know that each of us is being challenged to the cracking point by Hashem, and that no-one else can take our problems away until and unless we make teshuva and wholeheartedly return to God.

That’s the whole point of why all the craziness is going on, and having other people step in to try to soften the blow or deflect the difficulty is actually not helping the suffering person very much at all, at this stage of the game, external appearances notwithstanding.

Tachlis, each of us has a very narrow, scary bridge to cross, to get to Hashem and Moshiach and the geula.

On one side, is all our arrogance, belief in our own abilities, ‘security blankets’ and imaginary ideas about how the world really works, and how much we’re in control.

On the other, is Hashem and emuna and the geula.

And no-one else can cross that bridge for us.

1 reply
  1. Pestercorn
    Pestercorn says:

    Hi
    I stumbled on your website and have read quite a few of your articles and agree with many of your points of view especially concerning the covid con.
    However, on this issue of suffering I felt to add a comment. I wholeheartedly agree with your position on this and have indeed, experienced exactly what you have portrayed. I won’t bore you with all of the details otherwise this would turn into a book. It is enough to say that I suffered (and still am to a lesser extent) for over 25 years and had my quite successful life taken from me. The many friends I used to have visit me quickly dried up and I soon lived a lone experience although I was served wonderfully by my wife who is an Angel given by God!!
    But enough to say, that although I am a Christian, I totally agree with what you have written here and have come to accept that God may isolate you and allow you (even engineer situations) that allow/force you to go through suffering for many reasons that he see’s fit. After all, he is God! and the suffering that we experience here in this life is a small period of time compared to eternity.
    I KNOW a lot about pain! Real torturous pain but I’ve also learned much about the character of God during this time and the virtues of self sacrifice and truth. For truth is our rudder in life and without truth we will wander like the flotsam of the ocean.
    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you reached me with your efforts.
    God Bless

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
30 ⁄ 15 =


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.