Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.
As introduced in yesterday's Freeday post, we are going to embark upon an exploration called "Beyond Sorrow" over the next few weeks here. These will be mini-essays and quotes from varied sources and spiritual backgrounds and will, hopefully, shed some light on why it is we find ourselves in a state of sorrow and what it is that we can do to correct our thinking in order to remove it from our lives. This is not to belittle any grief which may be taking place for anyone - that is a different and pertinent aspect of life. Here, the 'sorrow' is that more general malaise that has us being discontented, even depressed, about how things are not the way we want them to be. Sometimes that arises from an acute incidence of grief. If we do not have appropriate support and correct vision of life, it can grab hold and drag us down.
However, many will say that life is being unfair to them, that they are 'suffering' from that perception of inequity or lack of this and that. There is a root cause and it is almost always about the fact the change happens and we'd rather it didn't - because we also have to adapt and change. This seems like a good place to begin. The first few posts will be about understanding suffering. We will start off with a quote from the 'Tales of the Hasidim.'
When Rabbi Shmelke and his brother visited the maggid of Mezritch, they asked him about the following; 'our sages said certain words which leave us no peace because we do not understand them. They are that men should praise and thank God for suffering, just as much as for well-being, and receive it with the same joy. Will you tell us how we are to understand this Rabbi?'
The maggid replied; 'go to the house of study. There you will find Zusya smoking his pipe. He will give you the explanation.'
They went to the house of study and put their question to Rabbi Zusya. He laughed. 'You certainly have come to the right man! Better go to someone else rather than me, for I have never experienced suffering.'
However, the two knew that, from when he was born right up to this day, Rabbi Zusya's life had been a web of need and anguish. Then, they knew what it was… to accept suffering with Love.