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Purpose of Struggle

A Chassidic Perspective


In the beginning there was only Hashem, who is perfect, so all that existed was oneness and perfection.


Hashem wanted there to be a possibility of achievement, growth and accomplishment, so he created the possibility for good and evil followed by the actual creation of good and evil. In this model, there is no actual opposition to Godliness; the oposition itself is a mirage created by God to make our test seem real. The evil itself also wants us to pass our test, it is merely doing its job of challenging us.


The challenge allows expansion from the limitations that were naturally placed upon us. Our purpose and the purpose of all of creation is to make this corporeal world into a spiritual sphere, housing godliness. In essence, we are charged with a seemingly impossible mission, to connect the spiritual and physical. This struggle is where we have our accomplishment. Yes, many tests are failed , but there will always be opportunities to pass tests.


In the spiritual model, each of us was given two spiritual inclinations, one influencing us to make positive decisions, and the other influencing us to make a negative decisions. One should never despair, thinking that he is insincere if he sometimes chooses one way, and sometimes the other way; he is merely a real person precisely the way God made him. If one feels despair over his spiritual state, he must know this is the evil inclination trying to prevent future goodness. On the contrary, the greater the feeling of opposition, the greater one can rejoice, knowing that the evil side is afraid of his winning. It is a imilar to a sports match, where when one side plays stronger, so does the other side. So instead of despairing over past failures, be enthusiastic about future successes.


(The purpose in internalizing the past is to guide future decisions. Ex. I am prone to acting out when I am hungry, tired, lonely etc.)


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Tanya explains the inner conflict with the following parable: There are two types of flavors that people enjoy, spicy and sweet. Spiritually, spicy represents hard work of the struggling person (Rasha and Beinoni), versus sweet represents pleasure work from the nun-struggling (Tzadik). In the explanation, Hashem enjoys both spicy and sweet service, but wants much more of the spicy type, and we do not get to choose which side to be on. We do have the option of asking Hashem to help us in our struggle every day, and a few times a year we ask him to entirely remove the struggle from us, but this is considered an uncommon gift. Hence, the struggling person can take pride in serving Hashem the spicy flavor, and the harsher the struggle the more intense Hashem's pleasure becomes (and the greater good reward becomes).


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The Rambam encourages a person to view the entire world as being perfectly balanced of good and evil. Rather than ruminating the past, focus on doing the right thing in the moment to tip the whole world toward good.


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The ultimate Is to accomplish the growth and return to serenity. In that ultimate time the world will revert to being only godly, but will be there in an accomplished fashion.. There will be no more good and evil, there will be no more. or struggles. There will only be the benefit for the effort we put in to prevail on our struggles.

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