Is it a Nisayon or Onesh?

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    How can a person determine if the difficulties he/she are going through is a test from G-d or a punishment from G-d?

    Say in regards to Tefilah, does one daven that he/she should have the strength to overcome the test or should he/she daven for forgiveness? Should the person smile and say “gam zu l’tova” or should the person realize there is something causing this to happen and G-d has a msg?

    By Adam’s sin the Torah states the punishments. Later the Torah states tests given to Avraham to raise his level in gaining reward. There are many places all over Tanach and Shas where we see both circumstances. Today, how do we know what we are dealing with?

    Bless You

    It’s not possible to know why things happen to us as we don’t have a navi who can tell us. Though we do know that tefillah can help get rid of a bad g’zaira and can even cause a person’s mazel to improve. You can’t lose if you cry out to Hashem for help in improving your situation, whether it is a test or a punishment.

    Shopping613 🌠

    Ask a Rav. I personally think stuff that has happened for me are Nisayons, but you should ask for forgiveness from everyone anyway….


    who said its either or? maybe its a punishment together with a nisoyon? testing u to see ? such as my fam was blessed recently with a downs at the time when he was born it was so tough yet now the entire fam cant imagin life with out him its the biggest blessing’ what may seem to be a punishment turned out to be the greatest thing my fam could ever get…


    bless you: You can’t change Mazal, by definition. Of course, I think most Poskim hold that Mazal doesn’t affect us anyway, so that’s not really relevant.

    Oh Shreck!

    I like the way you posed your question.

    And in my humble opinion I think you’re right. It’s both! As Rabbi Miller says, one should accept lovingly from HaShem – all while trying to better the circumstance. Through Tefillah, Teshuva and through physical means. It’s no ‘stira’, one is bidden to always improve his/her ‘matzav’ while at the same time knowing that what CANNOT be changed, is intended by HaShem for some specific reason. For our benefit.



    I think generally nisyonos are matters of spirituality, so for example you will have a nisayon to not learn or to talk loshon hora, to look where you shouldnt, to be a baal gayva.

    An onesh is a punishment, like if you get sick or lose a significant amount of money…usually Hashem does not bring bad things on a person as a test. Usually they are an outcome (middah keneged middah) for his actions. However, in every onesh there lies a nesayon. Hashem wants that you should accept the punishment as coming from Him as an atonement for your misdeeds. If you ignore the message Hashem will keep sending punishments. Hashem wants us to do Teshuvah and the punishment only works when the persons heart wakes up and he realizes Who did it to him and thinks about the why.



    Thanx! (that applies to all respondents) Very well said. Really interesting. But…

    Excluding the nisoyon of excepting an onesh, your categorization of nisyonos is a bit general. You claim that a punishment hurts where as nisyonos are day to day experiences.

    Say a person doesn’t own a private yacht and it bothers him tremendously. He has had his eye on one for yrs and hes just dying to get out there and sail free. He cries out to Hashem and doesn’t understand “WHY G-d dont you give me the extra 120K I need?” No one will tell you that G-d is punishing him. He has a taiyva that he should push himself to overcome. But blur the lines, say he lives in the Hamptons where yacht clubs are common. Say his yacht is Flatbush’s Lexus LS460 or Monsey’s house with a pool or any other Jones situation. Say he cant even afford a family vacation or a trip to the restaurant. Onesh or Nisayon?? Perhaps there is a line based on ones standards that will differentiate the punishment and test. This aplies not only to parnasa, getting a raise or promotion but also to social acceptance, shiduchim, hatzlocha in Torah, health, etc…

    We know regarding Tzidaka that a ex-wealthy gets more than the lifelong pauper. For his tzar is greater. He is being punished.

    Is your initial differentiation correct or perhaps every situation can be nisyonos?? I agree that our daily common occurrences “not to learn or to talk loshon hora, to look where you shouldnt, to be a baal gayva” are nisyonos but the non-spiritual matters may be too?


    Call Shalheves and ask for the shiur by a Rav Rabinowitz on the topic.

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