Shlomo Ezagui

A Healthier Perspective to Hardships and Challenges

Simone Viani

Many times, just when we finally make up our minds to move ahead in life and to move in the right direction, we are challenged with more difficulties, struggles, and obstacles.

At 75 years old, Abraham accepts his first real mission from God. And on his journey toward Israel to fulfill God’s commandment, he is confronted with a famine. His wife, Sarah, is abducted and taken prisoner by the Pharaoh of Egypt. You could not find a more spiritual or Godlier couple committed and willing to do what is right… So, how is it that they were rewarded with such hardships?

Why is life sometimes so complex and challenging? Can’t God leave us alone?

By nature, we tend to sit back and become complacent when things are too easy. For most of us, lighting the proverbial fire underneath us is the only way to get us off our backs. Challenges push a person to bring the best out of himself. That is just the way it works.

Mysticism discusses the nature of this universe as being inherently kind and good. When God decided to create this world, no one deserved or earned His kindness, and He did it anyway. “The world was created with the attribute of kindness.” That means that even if something appears to be going downwards, it must be part of a process of kindness, going upwards and getting better. Since God is good, all He does is excellent, with no inadequacies or deficiencies.

To be honest with oneself, it is necessary to acknowledge that only God knows what is truly good or bad. We often experience negative things and discover they are catalysts for something very positive. How many people have lost jobs only to find better opportunities? What we think is positive often becomes the reason for something very negative. How many people have won lotteries only to curse the day they won all that money? Our scope of vision is finite and limited; in truth, we can never be sure what is truly good and what may be truly bad for us. Some people get married thinking they found their best mate, only to curse the day they were married!

When people rely on God’s infinite wisdom and goodness, developing their muscles of faith and trust, they are catapulted into an entirely different way of viewing the world and our lives and experiencing life differently. A person who understands that the nature and character of the world are inherently good, a blessing from a positive, benevolent, and trustworthy source, and who develops this faith by using his intellect to strengthen himself never encounters problems. Everything in his or her life must be another experience presented as an opportunity for something positive.

God chose Abraham and Sarah to go on His mission because God knew they understood this concept and would seek the bright side, the kernel of good, in all they would encounter. And so it was. The famine led them toward Egypt, which occasioned the kidnapping of Sarah, which then led to the great gifts Pharaoh lavished upon Abraham and Sarah. They became exceedingly rich from their personal challenges.

Our people’s first patriarch and matriarch, Abraham and Sarah, taught us all this lesson and, more so, created the path for all their children to follow.

We must train our minds, and our hearts will always follow to see the blessing, or at least have the patience and faith to eventually see a blessing and benefit in all things that happen in our lives. It’s not easy, but it is undoubtedly the better way. When we look at life in this fashion, we are guaranteed to notice the good in everything that happens more quickly, and as a result of this perspective, life becomes literally better!

Chapter 25

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
Related Topics
Related Posts