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    Bad is Good

    In Breishis, Perek Lamed Zayin, posuk alef Yaakov wanted to finally settle down and not have any more worries. Before long he was presented with a new challenge; the worry of Yosef. Rashi says that tzadikim wish to live in peace and Hashem says they have enough in the World to Come, they should not enjoy life on this world.

    This premise leaves us wondering. What is wrong if a tzadik has “menucha” on this world? Why should reshaim have “shalva” on this world and not tzadikim? The question goes even deeper. If the whole purpose for this world is to function as a hallway to the World to Come and in order to do mitzvos one needs a certain amount of menuchas hadaas, why can’t the tzadikim have this menucha in order to carry out the will of Hashem?

    The Ramban in Bereishis, Perek Yud Bais, posuk vov tells us a rule about Bnei Yisroel. Whatever happened to our forefathers is a siman for the children. We have to analyze all that occurred with our avos and apply it to our day-to-day life. If you follow Yaakov’s tribulations it is just mind-boggling. He ran away from home in fear of Esav. Elifaz robbed him of all his possessions at the beginning of his trip. Yaakov worked for fourteen years for his wives, and then an additional six years when he was constantly being tricked. He had to fight the angel of Esav while having his thigh dislocated. Yaakov finally arrived in Shechem and was healed from his wound and complete with all his Torah, since he did not forget anything. The story of Dina being captured followed his arrival in Shechem and he had to fight wars with all the Canaanim. Afterward, Yaakov lost Rachel while traveling and never met his mother again. He finally had the opportunity to do the mitzvah of Kibbud Av and wanted to settle down but then was faced with new trouble; Yosef was sold and Yaakov thought he had died. Yaakov had a kabala that if any of his children would not be raised properly, or would die before him, Yaakov would go to Gehinom. Since he thought Yosef had died he was worried that he was heading to Gehinom.

    Reb Hershel of Krakow explains this by referring to when Rivkah was carrying Yaakov and Eisav. They were fighting in utero. Rashi says that they were fighting who gets Olam Haba and who gets Olam Hazeh. As a compromise, Yaakov took Olam Haba and Esav took Olam Hazeh. It is interesting to note, if you ask a tzaddik if he has Olam Haba, he will say I am not sure, maybe my sins are taking some away. This is like Yaakov Avinu when he used the word, “Kotonti.” On the other hand, if you ask a rasha if he has Olam Haba, he will say no worries, he is getting Olam Haba. What’s the logic? The answer is that if a tzaddik is confident he is getting Olam Haba, then he has Olam Hazeh and that will diminish his Olam Haba. However, in contrast, if a rasha is going to worry about Olam Haba he will not have Olam Hazeh and it will increase his Olam Haba. That is exactly what the Torahis teaching us. When bad things happen to us in this world it just increases our portion in Olam Haba.

    Let us take this lesson to heart and learn to deal with adversity with the belief that it is for the best and will only help us in the World to Come.