How did your tzaros change you?

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    Have any of you suffered any serious tzaros? If so, how did they change you as a person?

    I personally endured several years of a child of mine suffering serious illness followed by the death of that child. It’s hard to put into words all the changes that it caused in me, but I think the biggest effect that it had on me was that it taught me to really feel for other people in difficult situations. Previously, I had a hard time really feeling sorry for people who were going through tzaros simply because I couldn’t relate to the feeling. Now, when I hear of someone whose child was diagnosed with a serious illness or injured in an accident, I feel an intense pain in my heart and know that they’re going through the same very difficult emotions that I went through when my child first got sick. And it really, really hurts. I can cry for a total stranger and truly feel their pain. The challenge the other person is dealing with doesn’t even have to be that similar to mine. I’ve simply learned what pain feels like–true pain–and that can apply to a great variety of situations.

    Anyone else?

    pascha bchochma

    Just noting – this Mother in Israel is not the same person as the rather famous blog by that name.


    Thanks for pointing that out. I discovered that blog way after choosing my user name. How did you know that though?

    pascha bchochma

    If you follow her blog it isn’t so hard 🙂

    As for tzaros. there are many who have it worse than me and many who seem to have it better. But because my parents are models of emunah (esp. my mother) I learned a lot of emunah from the difficulties that cropped up in my life. My mother had a very hard life but is a very positive person. She really feels that our job is to try and Hashem does the rest, but her definition of “trying” includes not giving up (within reason) so that is what I learned from tzaros.

    For example: I wasn’t accepted into 4 places I applied to for something, even the places I was sure I’d get in. Every place had another absurd reason for rejecting me. (One said I was too smart!! of all the problems to have with a prospective student!)

    My mother had full confidence the whole time and kept on telling me that the right opportunity would come and I shouldn’t pull any strings or push it. Finally I got accepted into a place that was very simple, no frills. I didn’t enjoy it but because of that place, other amazing opportunities opened up to me years later. So I learned that Hashem has his plans and we just have to do the right thing.


    Difficulties finding jobs. I’ve tried very hard to be makpid on ma’aser, to share what HaShem has entrusted to me.


    I wouldnt really call it a Tzara but the situation I’m in now of being single, and people saying crazy ridiculous things to you.

    I definitely think 3 times before I say anything that may be misconstrued as hurtful or insensitive.


    After I lost my father a”h I was extremely saddened and inconsolable. Everything I did, I did in his zchus and to make him proud of me. One thing that changed tremendously was my outlook on almost everything. Things that seemed so important to me before seemed foolish and superficial. You really learn to view things from a different perspective when you suffer a loss. You prioritize your life and get rid of the shtusim.


    While I have not B’H suffered the type of loss you mentioned, I had 2 huge work related setbacks (the type that get you fired). One this year, and the other a few years back, They were of different sorts so I could not learn from the 1st to avoid the 2nd.

    But each one changed me in a very profound way. I’ll not discuss the 1st in detail, but the lesson I learnt is a ben torah needs to behave like a ben torah, even when everyone else around you does not.

    The 2nd mistake was a business error, and it taught me that when all is said and done, I still have the Rebono Shel Oilam, even when my status quo no longer exists. Fortunatly, I learnt my lessons well, so hashgacha got me back on my feet.

    But boy, nothing changes a person like tzaros.


    “But boy, nothing changes a person like tzaros.”

    Ain’t that the truth? Wouldn’t it be great if we could all learn from each other’s tzaros so we don’t have to go through them ourselves?


    Truth is, all I (and most people) learnt was lessons I (we) had heard from rebbeim / rabbonim / articles read, ect.

    There is a story of a poor man who needed firewood. So he went to the Rov, who took him to the town gevir. The Rov shouts out to the gevir from the courtyard, “Reb Yankle, I need to talk to you for a minute.”

    Yankle opens the window and asks the Rov to come upstairs. No, says the Rov, you need to come downstairs. So down Yankle comes, and the Rov explains the poor man’s situation.

    Sure enough, Yankle takes the poor man to the woodshed and gives his a huge load of wood. Shivering to the bone, Yankle says to the Rov “Now, can we go upstairs?”

    Once upstairs, Yankle asks why it was necessary for him to come down. He could have directed the poor man to the shed from the window.

    Answers the Rov, “from your warm livingroom, you understand its cold. From the courtyard, you KNOW its cold (and will be more understanding)

    Till I really touched bottom, I really did not KNOW how lonely you feel when the chips are down. When all else failed, Hashem was (and is) still with me. Too bad we need to learn it the hard way, but I guess that’s part of bechira.

    I know that words are an empty consolation, but poerhaps what you went thru may enable you to help someone else in a similar situation, and that’s a real nechoma for the neshoma of your child A’H.

    May we only hear besuros tovos!


    One thing we learn when we suffer a loss and sit shiva is to be careful not to say stupid things when paying a shiva call. Honestly, people say the stupidest things you wouldn’t believe what comes out of their mouths. Like asking if the family is putting the house up for sale or mentioning that they have a shidduch for the widow or widower.

    Another thing that we don’t realize we say is “i understand how you feel” I honestly we don’t, we can’t because even two siblings are not experiencing the same loss. Because each sibling has their own memories and their own experiences with the nifter or nifteres. So no one is really mourning the same way, and no really feels the same way or understands or experiences the same as another.



    Terribly sorry to read about your loss. I too lost a child, but she was born prematurely and lived for a day.

    I learned exactly what you wrote. To feel for other peoples’ tzoros and as aries wrote, to know what to say and what not to say to someone who is going through a difficult time.

    May we all know no more tza’ar…..


    I was brought up in a home with parents who were off the derech, and had left Orthodoxy in their teens, but became frum, learned Hebrew, how to make a leining, and started doing all of this when I was 16. I am 20 now, go to college, hold a job to pay for medical expenses, and learn several hours each day, give shiurim, write articles and pilpulim (you see some of them here), try to be mechazek others and do acts of chesed, and try to be medakdek b’mitzvos. As a result of my transition to a Torah lifestyle, my parents and I have nothing to do with each other, despite my being young (20), and I live without material support (I sacrificed my yerusha, my home, everything to be able to live a Torah lifestyle), sometimes I sleep on the trains, spend nights in Shomrei Shabbos learning Gemara, more or less doing the best that I can to get by. This is being mesiras nefesh for Torah and I would choose poverty/homelessness to keep mitzvos and learn torah any day of the week over, c”v, abandoning the lifestyle of emes HaShem revealed to me. On top of all of this, I am visually impaired, dyslexic, and am undergoing treatment for yeneh machla. The biggest challenge I face is the lack of monetary support a parent provides at this age, but it is a no-brainer for me to choose Torah u’mitzvos over living in an environemnt where I am not welcome due to my religious practices and beliefs. It is also depressing to not have a family to eat by for Shabbos and Yom Tov; my shabboses normally consist of making kiddush in Shomrei Shabbos, eating what hot item I can find there, and learning. It is very hard not having the simcha and ruchnius of a loving mishpacha who is with you and supports you in your faith. For whatever reason, HaShem decided I should be born to the people I was born to, but now that I am of the age to do as I please, I have taken upon myself shmiras hamitzvos. For this I would trade nothing. I’d even give my life for it, and to an extent I have (being homeless is no fun and can get to you very soon). The most important thing I remember and that gives me chizuk is this: For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but HaShem gathers me in (Tehillim 27:10). Remembering this helps me get through the tzaros of my everyday life.



    Wow wow wow! You are amazing. We should all learn from you and I’m sure that would be a great zchus for you.

    However, my heart goes out for you. Is it possible to find some nice man who davens regularly in shomrei shbbs and become his shabbos guest?

    At least give us your name so we can Daven for you.

    Aishes Chayil

    Reb Doniel,

    Your a true inspiration to all of us!


    BP Totty–Thanks so much for sharing that story. It’s so true that we can really learn the best from experiencing something on our own. Looking on from the side doesn’t have the same effect at all.

    Aries–BH most of the people who came to us during the shiva said appropriate things, but there was one woman who said, “Now your life will be much easier.” I almost punched her in the face. Sure, not being in the hospital and dealing with illness makes things easier technically, but I have yet to see that my life is easier now than it was then. It’s infinitely harder now.

    And it’s so true that nobody really knows exactly how anyone else is feeling. Every person is unique and each one deals with tzaros differently.

    Yanky55–I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. May you have only good news from now on.

    Reb Doniel–All I can say is, WOW. I envy your gan eden. May Hashem send you a refuah sheleima and may your situation improve in all ways. You’re truly an inspiration.


    you know the expression”whatever doesn’t kill you,makes you stronger”…


    Tzoris has a way of reordering your perspective on life and prioritizing things for you. It is amazing how what you once thought was so very important or what was a must have seems so trivial after you go through real tzar. Food tastes different, things look different, smell different and feel different. You see things in a different light. Sometimes your world turns upside down and sometimes it turns right side up depending on how you look at it. What you thought you needed you realize is just things you really wanted and don’t really need at all. What seemed so urgent before all of a sudden can wait for eternity. People who always rush seem to find time to stop and smell the roses. People who were too laid back realize life is too short and they better hurry to get things done. Sometimes people turn bitter and are unreachable and sometimes they give more of themselves and become more accessible. Either way I believe that tzoris always has a huge impact on a person.


    I’ve had enough Tzoros; now I want Simcha in my life -so I can say how the Simcha changed me!


    I recently heard in a shiur that if one looks at todays generation and all the bad, he should also realize that we are in the time of Mashiach, and we are doing the last bit of kaparah before Mashiach can come, so everything is “stuffed” into a shorter time.

    My life personally definitely strengthened my connection with Hashem. And I learned that someone could be going through something very hard and no one will know anything. Judging accomplishes nothing.


    Be Happy

    I definitely feel more with people who are suffering. I do try to offer practical help. However, I do feel sorry for those people who “suffer” with minor trivialities.e.g My neighbour has been going shopping for the last 4 weeks for kitchen tiles. She has not found the ones she likes….She is really in a state. Tzoras taught me what is important in life (at least I think so!)


    Reb Doniel i dont know what to say. What is most inspirational about your story is your outlook on what you’re going through. May Hashem give you a complete recovery and give you the strength to keep up your unbelievable emunah. My parents were divorced when i was very young my father remarried a few years later to a woman who made our lives a living hell. When i was 14 and i thought life couldnt get worse my father who was my whole world was killed. BH through some miracle i married an amazing guy. Then i got sick. Then i lost a baby. 14 major surgeries in the last few years made it harder to keep up my emunah and there were times when i can honestly say i wasnt at my best. The frustration after each one knowing it didnt work and that they had to try again really did get me down. But whatever we are going through if we look around us unfortunately there are people going through much worse. Yes surgery isnt fun but at least theres something the docotors can still try. I keep telling myself that and thats what keeps me going.



    I feel like saying that all the time!

    I have definitely grown alot from what I’m going through, but I always think to myself “when will I have a chance to grow through good times?!”


    whatrutalkingabt: It would be amazing if we could have good times but do you think we would be able to say we actually grow from that? i cant see very many people saying “oh wow Hashem thanx for the amazing business deal You sent me today im going to be more careful with hilchot loshon hora and im going to try to concentrate on my davening more”. Unfortunately it takes a good “smack” to wake most of us up and get us to “grow”.

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