In our first class, we discussed various theodicies, rational approaches to the existence of suffering and evil. But in this class, we dealt with the emotional impact of raw pain.
Pain hurts. It makes us cry out. It can not be answered by cold intellectualism. But faith offers comfort where explanations fall short. In this lesson, we took a closer look at faith and how it can be fostered so it is there for us when we need it most.
Faith is about recognizing that life has purpose. Sometimes, the purpose is revealed to us; more often, it is not. But one who hones trust in G-d in good times has the fortitude to believe that even the harsh times have meaning.
In Hebrew, the word faith comes from the same root as “training.” Faith must become a habit of thought. We must learn to see our lives as guided, and each of our days as part of a larger order.
For many Holocaust survivors, the ultimate act of faith was simply to choose life—to remarry, to rebuild, to continue to believe in the Jewish future.
Thank you for joining us. We look forward to seeing you next week for Lesson five.
Rabbi Shmuly Altein