25. A Question and a Test

What is the difference between a philosophical question and a nisayon (test)? I believe they’re very distinct. You see, a philosophical question is when you break your leg and I turn to Hashem and I say Hashem, I don’t understand it, such a good person, such a kindly human being, why would that happen to that person? That’s a philosophical question. But when I stub my toe — ow — that’s a life test.

You see, when I have questions about you, I can remain detached, I remain objective. Hashem, let me understand Your ways. But when it’s my pain, when it’s my need, when I’m in trouble, all of a sudden it’s much more real and that’s called a nisayon, a test. It’s very easy to be a philosopher about other people, why they have difficult situations, why circumstances aren’t working out so well for them, but when it comes to my life, that’s the real test. The ability to trust Hashem, to understand that there’s a plan, to rely on Hashem even when it’s my pain, my trouble, that’s the real test of bitachon (trust), and that’s the real growth of a person in life.