Wednesday, May 1, 2013

48 Ways: #25 - Acceptance of personal suffering


Pirkei Avot 6:5 teaches that Torah is acquired in 48 ways, which it lists for us. The twenty-fifth of the 48 is kabbalat hayisurin, acceptance of one's personal suffering.

We have already said that one who would succeed in Torah study should minimize his pursuit of pleasure, but kabbalat hayisurin adds the element of kabbalah, acceptance. One who suffers hardship but rails against it will be distracted, in greater or lesser measure, by his rejection of his state and his battle against it. To succeed in Torah study, one must be able to accept his state and shift his focus to his learning.

Have a great day,


  1. When I'm asked what's the difference between Mussar and Self Help, this issue is one of the core ones:

    Someone seeking Self Help will try to learn how to overcome obstacles. Someone learning Mussar will try to learn how to learn from them and grow.

    (Which flows from the primary distinction: Self Help is about becoming who *you* want to be, whereas Mussar is about becoming who Hashem made you to be. Thus to psychology an obstacle is in the way between point A and point B, whereas to the Torah it's part of Hashem's help in finding point B and getting there.