You Dont Know Suffering
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- This topic has 63 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 2 months ago by Toi.
June 17, 2012 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #603809
So im talking with a family member who is somewhat familiar with the circumstances in which i grew up and shes says to me its time to get over your childhood its not like you were in the holocaust!
Is this a proper line of reasoning that if you werent in Auschwitz that you have no claim on pain and suffering? what do you think?June 17, 2012 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #915989yitayningwutParticipant
It’s a really ignorant and insensitive line of reasoning. You are correct.June 17, 2012 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #915990
does this person complain about life?June 17, 2012 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #915991popa_bar_abbaParticipant
No, that is a stupid thing to say. Your family member should go to therapy.June 17, 2012 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #915992
No coffee she never complains shes always sunny side up.June 17, 2012 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #915993
so I guess she was saying always look on the bright side, you could’ve had it a lot worse, be happy with what you have how far you came etc.June 17, 2012 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #915994whatrutalkingabtMember
Some people (actually many people) dont think before they speak. She probably had good intentions but take whatever she says with a grain of salt.June 17, 2012 7:39 pm at 7:39 pm #915995
That CA or even now when things aren’t going so well for her she chooses to wear blinders rather than face the ugly truth.June 17, 2012 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #915996
Goq, for her to say something like that is insensitive, yet unfortunately, predictable. I’ve had many people say similar things to me, to the point where I expect it. They simply don’t understand my situation, and people probably don’t understand yours. They probably don’t mean it in a bad way, but there are things that should not be said, and this is one of them.
About the reference to the concentration camps, many times I think I would’ve much rather gone through that than what I’ve gone through in my life. At least in the holocaust they all suffered together, whereas I basically suffered alone. But of course it is wrong to think like that, for many reasons.June 17, 2012 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #915997
Thank you MP i suffered alone as well nothing to hang hope onto no lifesaver to save me from drowning.June 17, 2012 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #915998OneOfManyParticipant
You should tell her that the fact that there are people more intelligent than her renders her intelligence insignificant. So she should really get over the idea that she’s got a brain. ^_^June 17, 2012 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #915999147Participant
Is this a proper line of reasoning that if you werent in Auschwitz that you have no claim on pain and suffering? what do you think? …….. It is an absolute proper line of thinking, just like someone who has never attended Simchas Bais haShoeiva at the Bais haMikdosh has no idea what Simcha is all about.June 17, 2012 8:35 pm at 8:35 pm #916000
MiddlePath -“About the reference to the concentration camps, many times I think I would’ve much rather gone through that than what I’ve gone through in my life. At least in the holocaust they all suffered together, whereas I basically suffered alone. But of course it is wrong to think like that, for many reasons.”
It could be wrong and it could not be wrong. The Rabbi who started Shalheves (I forgot his name) – he lived through the Holocaust and I heard on a tape to parents who lost a child that their suffering is worse than the Holocaust. He said at least in the Holocaust we all suffered together as opposed to losing a child in our day and age.
So if your suffering is/was as great as losing a child then you can say it. If not, perhaps you are having a little bit too much self-pity?June 17, 2012 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #916001
Goq, this has nothing to do with you. This is a genereal statement.
Some people are so hung up on their bad childhood, that they don’t even try to succeed in life. They blame everything on their problems. It is very unfortunate and I know quite a few people like that.
They had potential for a beautiful life but everything was limited to “I can’t! My childhood/family/current circumstances don’t allow me to succeed”. It’s so much easier to say that than to face and correct their problems.
Goq, again, I don’t you know you or your suffering, so this post is not directed to you at all. I’m just stating this for conversation purposes.June 17, 2012 9:48 pm at 9:48 pm #916002cinderellaParticipant
I was going to say what smartcookie said. There are some people out there who are so hung up on their horrible childhood experiences that they bring it up in every conversation and blame all of their misfortunes on it.
From what I know of you Goq, you are a very normal person and this doesn’t apply to you. But what prompted her to say this? I am not saying that she was right because what she said was stupid, but do you always blame everything on your childhood? Are you hung up on what happened to you? Are you letting your childhood get in the way of you having a happy life? She was wrong to say that but I’m just wondering aloud…June 17, 2012 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #916003
Appreciate the thought cookie and perhaps thats true even with me, but i know i have not lived an ordinary life with ordinary problems.June 17, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm #916004🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
smartcookie – I agree with you
Goq – You know I am always looking out for you so I hope this 3 dimensional answer fits into this 2 dimensional square. I don’t know the person who said it so I may be way off but I feel bad that she is being attacked. It sounded to me like she was trying to give you chizuk and for the reasons smartcookie laid out. When people bring up the holocaust, it is because they think of it as pervasive torture that destroyed lives. Not everyone understands that the pain you experienced could even come close. I do understand it, so I might have chosen a different analogy, but assuming it was said in context, she must see you as you are now, and have no clue about the depth of your misery or how far you’ve come.
I just reread your OP and I see you weren’t asking us about her comment at all so I guess I didn’t really answer your post. Sorry about that, I just don’t want you to have something else to feel bad about. I think those of us who suffered are angry at being understood, but MANY of us, for various reasons, did a bad job making our pain known. I for one was always angry that my mother didn’t read my mind and figure it out herself. We did a bad PR job and now we pay for it. So forgive her for choosing poor wording, take her message as chizuk to continue on your path to greatness, and pray that you will never make that mistake with someone else.
🙂June 17, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #916005
Very comforting words syag thank you so much.June 18, 2012 2:29 am at 2:29 am #916006
Health, while I understand what you are saying, I think it is wrong, in general, to say a certain type of suffering is worse or better than another type, because there are so many factors that go into every individual scenario, and person, that it is impossible, and wrong, to really compare. I was simply stating how for me, suffering with other people would’ve been better than suffering alone. That doesn’t at all take into account what other people may feel about it. I was merely talking for myself.
Regarding what smartcookie wrote, true, there are people who unfortunately do that. I am blessed that I was given a drive to succeed and overcome any challenge I face. If you were to meet me, you’d never know that I’ve gone through anything worse than a slight headache. But there’s a downside to that as well, as Syag pointed out, since I find it difficult to express my pain to others.
Goq, your golden character makes it obvious to me that you took the challenges in your life head on and that you truly have it in you to succeed. And though it seems as though we suffered alone, really, G-d was with us all along. We were never truly alone. Wishing you all the best.June 18, 2012 2:50 am at 2:50 am #916007
MP, I’m impressed with your outlook and attitude.June 18, 2012 2:53 am at 2:53 am #916008
Goq, to answer your holocaust ques, I can see that your relative wanted to point out to you that you can succeed despite all your hardships.
But no, I don’t think the Holocaust, and other’s day to day Tzaros have anything to do with each others.
There are nebach enough people who haven’t gone through the holocaust, but have been through their own h*ll.
And maybe we should all take a lesson from holocasut survivors, who rebuilt their lives and started from new, after so much suffering.
If they can, we all can too!June 18, 2012 3:14 am at 3:14 am #916009
MiddlePath -“Health, while I understand what you are saying, I think it is wrong, in general, to say a certain type of suffering is worse or better than another type, because there are so many factors that go into every individual scenario, and person, that it is impossible, and wrong, to really compare.”
I wouldn’t do it myself because how would I know? But if a Rabbi who went through the Holocaust states that losing a child is worse than the Holocaust -this I believe and will repeat over.June 18, 2012 3:33 am at 3:33 am #916010
Thank you so much MP i feel the same way about you wishing you all the bestJune 18, 2012 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #916011working harderMember
It may have been an insensitive thing to say, but there is still is a message there.
It’s very easy for us to so “you don’t know what ive been through ect ect.”
EVERY person thinks that their issues or their situations are THE WORST case ever in the world. when in fact its not.
Did you suffer growing up? yes, was in Extremely unbearable? yes
You have two options: to let your past hold you back or to say i can still be great regardless of my messed up background.
Your callJune 18, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #916012yummy cupcakeMember
i didn’t read everyone’s posts, so what i say might have been said before. i agree with coffeeaddict that that might be what she was saying, and i agree with middlepath. now i’m gonna say that whatever suffering you went through was meant for you. you cant compare one persons personal suffering to another. Hashem doesn’t give you more than you can deal with, and what He does give you in the way of challenges, He gives you the tools to deal with. when people suffer, it doesn’t make them feel better that someone has it worse. they just want their pain/suffering acknowledged. we are humans with human emotions. we can’t just become ok with our situation because someone has it worse. thats not the way we work (i’m speaking in general).June 18, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm #916013YW Moderator-42Moderator
Many people don’t know how to phrase what they want to say in a nice way. They usually mean well but come out insensitive. That being said, I hope this comes out ok.
I think that the mashal your family member was using is wrong but the message is correct. What she was saying is that at this point in your life you should learn to accept your problems for what they are and try to make the best of your situation. Everybody has their own sets of problems, some people went through the holocaust, others might have a stomach ache. But to each person, Hashem gives their own nisyonos for them to make the most of. Hashem doesn’t give you more than you can handle. Try to look at the bright side of life. Think of all the good that Hashem has given you and focus on that and let that affect your mood and the way you go about your day. Try thinking about all the random people in your life and what kinds of problems they have that you don’t and think about how they handle them and how it would be if you had those problems instead of your own. Also, you can think about the temporary problems that you have had over the course of your lifw and how hard they were and how good it is now that those are gone (something like a stomach ache, flu, etc). Imagine if these things were permanant and how that would make your life so much more unbearable than it is. Thank Hashem for the good that you have that those are not permanent and be happy with what you have.June 19, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am #916014
I see that she is getting the benefit of the doubt but i am not thats about what i expected.June 19, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am #916015Ben LeviParticipant
To minimize someone else’s suffering is a wrong. Plain and simple.
The Job of one who is being “mavaler choleh” or providing a listeneing ear is to be “noiseh B’ol” to feel the other persons pain as if it was their own.
However what the person who is suffering on their own should think is another matter.
Some time ago I came down with a extremly rare sickness, I was rushed into one of the top Manhattan Hospitals. The Doctors (some of which were specialists called in by a Chareidi Askan specifically to deal with my case) were to put it in thier own words, extremly pessimistic about my prospects for a complete recovery.
The morning after I was admitted a Doctor was doing a minor procedure on my neck. He was able to see what was pretty obvious at the time.
I was really, really scared.
So the Dr. seeking to reassure me said “Don’t worry, you have the right to be scared anybody in youre situation would be scared”.
I might’ve been scared but B”H I still had my wits about me and I replied “I may have the right to be scared but it sure won’t help me”.
For the rest of the procedure the Dr. did not say a word.
My point is that yes, one may feel they have the “right” to be scared or to be negativley affected by something that goes badly for them or is done badly to them.
But know this.
You do not gain by allowing things to affect you badly.
You do gain from viewing each and everything that happens to you as a nisoyon, a test, a challenge to conquer.
If you do that, then each and every challenge that comes your way will only cause you to grow.
Because to meet a challenge you must grow. The harder the challenge the more growth that is required of you.
I spent several weeks in the Hospital and then as part of my treatment a phsycologist met with me to ensure that I was dealing with things properly.
He was a non-jew and he remarked how I must wish that I was never in the Hospital.
I replied that he was dead wrong. I hope and pray that no one is ever in the situation that I was in or has the side affects that I have.
However I would not trade my experiences for the world. My illness forced me to grow, to learn, to view, and experience things in ways I never could have before I was admitted to the hospitol with what was literally my life on the line.
I was sick, but in my recuperation I expierienced open nissim on a magnitude that caused a conservative Doctor to state theat it was clear to all that my recovery was an open miracle.
I grew in emunah, I grew in emunas chachomim (Gedolei Yisroel told my family in the begining not to listen to the DR’s I would recover), I learnt the meaning of Chesed, I saw firsthand how to really care for another. And I met amazing people.
One can chose to suffer but it’s never worth it, Instead you can use youre suffering to grow and to live. To really live.
I am only sharing this because when I began to turn the corner and was able to visit others my Rov ( My Rov and Rabbeim called almost every day to see how I was doing)told me that now I have to be michazek others.June 19, 2012 1:18 am at 1:18 am #916016
Goq, sorry you’re not getting what you wanted to hear.
But maybe, just maybe, this is a sign that your relative has a good point with telling you to try to overcome your past?
Not to minimize your pain, but you did admit that you blame things on your past and that keeps you back from being successful.
You’re living the life anyway, might as well make it good!June 19, 2012 1:44 am at 1:44 am #916017
I see that she is getting the benefit of the doubt but i am not thats about what i expected.
are you looking to vent or ask a serious question (I’m horrible at helping people when they’re venting)?
secondly, we’re not not giving you the benefit of the doubt we’re trying to help you understand why she would say something like thatJune 19, 2012 1:56 am at 1:56 am #916018
I just posed the question if using the holocaust as a reference to personal pain is fair.June 19, 2012 2:22 am at 2:22 am #916019OneOfManyParticipant
I don’t know why everyone is trying to excuse this person. Whether she was right or wrong is irrelevant. She commented on Goq’s personal issue, and the thing about involving yourself in someone else’s personal issues is that there are certain rules of conduct you have to follow. She most obviously didn’t, so her comment was really no more than a gross invasion of privacy. I don’t know why Goq should have to humbly take such a thing just because “it’s really meant for his own good.”June 19, 2012 2:29 am at 2:29 am #916020
I just posed the question if using the holocaust as a reference to personal pain is fair.
the question came from an assumption that that was what she was saying we’re trying to pose a different inference from her wordsJune 19, 2012 5:47 am at 5:47 am #916021MDGParticipant
“I just posed the question if using the holocaust as a reference to personal pain is fair. “
I’m not sure if it’s fair to compare, but I don’t think that it makes an effective argument. We all have different problems, some worse than others. I don’t think that one can compare different sufferings.
Goq, the next time you see her, stomp on her foot real hard and say, “Don’t worry, the holocaust was much worse and many people have done well after that.” (First wait for the screaming to stop.)June 19, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am #916022
It seems rather childish of me to start a thread and then complain when there are some who dont take my side i appreciate ALL of your opinions and input and i will try to take your advice to heart thank you.June 19, 2012 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #916023
Just as a side note i think some people may have rightfully misinterpeted the title of this thread i in no way meant that i had a corner on the market of suffering but i feel this is what she was in fact saying to me that you dont know suffering since you werent in the holocaust.June 19, 2012 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #916024
“I wouldn’t do it myself because how would I know? But if a Rabbi who went through the Holocaust states that losing a child is worse than the Holocaust -this I believe and will repeat over.”
This Rabbi has no business comparing the Holocaust and losing a child. He can compare what HE went through in the Holocaust to, G-d forbid, what HE went through when losing a child. But it is completely out of place to make such a statement as if it applies to everyone, because it just doesn’t. That would be insensitive.
And such is the scenario here too, with what Goq’s relative said. Yes, perhaps there can be some good in what she said, because after all, there is a concept of finding the good in everything, but the bottom line is, it was insensitive.June 19, 2012 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #916025
MP -“This Rabbi has no business comparing the Holocaust and losing a child. He can compare what HE went through in the Holocaust to, G-d forbid, what HE went through when losing a child. But it is completely out of place to make such a statement as if it applies to everyone, because it just doesn’t. That would be insensitive.”
That’s your mistake and you missed this in my previous post. I would never because I don’t have that insight. And I assume you wouldn’t from your posts. But a real Rabbi could have that insight, esp. in this case because he knows what occurred at that time – so if he says what he did, not only is it Not insensitive -it’s the Truth.
“there is a concept of finding the good in everything, but the bottom line is, it was insensitive.”
I agree with you here. She was being very insensitive. She has no clue what the Holocaust was about and obviously she has no clue what Goq is/was going through.June 19, 2012 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #916026
Health, it’s only the truth for HIMSELF. He cannot say such a statement for others, no matter how big of a Rabbi he is, because other people may have different tolerances and sensitivities for specific types of suffering.June 20, 2012 2:14 am at 2:14 am #916027gefenParticipant
Oneofmany- I agree with you.
Goq- You said that this family member is familiar with your past. Since that’s the case, she definitely should not be minimizing your pain. Whatever reasons the other posters are coming up with to explain her response does not excuse her. The only reason I can think of in her defense, is that even though she knows your story, she doesn’t truly understand it, and therefore cannot empathize with you. That’s my opinion anyway.
As far as the reference to the holocaust, I do believe that was out of line.
Goq, I wish you the best.June 20, 2012 2:28 am at 2:28 am #916028
Thank you gefen, havent seen you in a while welcome back, i said she was somewhat familiar she joined the family when i was in my late teens/ early twenties and got a glimpse but no not the full picture.June 20, 2012 1:11 pm at 1:11 pm #916029gefenParticipant
Hi Goq. I’ve been on the CR. I guess maybe I just haven’t posted that much lately.
Anyway, I don’t know how often you see this relative, but maybe just don’t talk about certain things when she’s around. This way she can’t say those things that upset you. That’s what I’ve learned to do with some people.June 20, 2012 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #916030seeallsidesParticipant
Goq-i see your posts here and there and my heart goes out to you- nobody will ever understand your pain because nobody is you, with your unique makeup and characteristics.
By the same token, every challenge that a person is given is hard for them to handle, and when people see you bound by your challenges, they will offer whatever advice, help, cheerful ‘pick yourself up by your bootstraps’ homilies, etc. that they can.
They are not being mean or cold-they are just not offering you things that you can relate to at that particular time. The same words may not hurt you at a different time.
It is always advisable to try and focus on the positive aspects of your life, try to energize towards the future rather than obsess about the past – not easy to do, but it is a path to a more optimistic outlook, and a happier life.
Even if you had the most horrible challenge ever, worse than the holocaust, worse than dead children, worse than having to collect money on street corners, worse than losing your job,health, money,spouse, etc….you have the ability (somewhere, very deep deep down….) to take your obviously intelligent capabilities and strength and move forward….
Regarding this specific comment about the Holocaust-i personally can’t imagine going through anything more painful than smelling the burning fumes of your children being gassed with no understanding of why or how long the indignities, starvation, and horror would go on, but it doesn’t mean that the fact that people survived it will soothe all your hurt.
May you find the right tools, the right people, the right words, to give you the strength to forge ahead and find great happiness!June 20, 2012 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #916031a maminParticipant
BEN LEVI: I find your message extremely eye opening. Wishing you many years of good health and happiness!June 20, 2012 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #916032
MiddlePath -“Health, it’s only the truth for HIMSELF. He cannot say such a statement for others, no matter how big of a Rabbi he is, because other people may have different tolerances and sensitivities for specific types of suffering.”
Again you are comparing the avg. guy to this Rabbi. I don’t know what type of upbringing you had -have you ever met a real Godol?
From your posts it sounds as not. Yes, “Rabbis” come a dime a dozen, but not real Gedolim. That’s why Chazal say Chochom Odif Menovi (A wise person is greater than a prophet). Rav Tauber is a very Choshuv person. If he says something which he has insight into -it’s because it’s true. Torah logic does Not always have to equal into human logic. Many times it does, but it doesn’t have to. There is something called Emunas Chachomim – this is a Godol’s logic that doesn’t necessarily agree with human logic.
Your post is not illogical, just it’s Not correct.June 20, 2012 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #916033
Ben Levi, sorry I didn’t comment on your post till now, but thanks so much for sharing that. It was very inspiring.
Health, this has absolutely nothing to do with emunas chachamim. This doesn’t even have anything to do with logic. This is about human emotions and sensitivities. A true Gadol would have the sensitivity to understand that each person is on their own level in terms of emotional responses to different types of pain, and not throw them all into one category. That is what a Gadol is. A leader. Someone who understands the needs of different people and can carefully determine the appropriate action for every individual based on their own situation. Someone who knows the entire Shas by heart but can’t differentiate between two people’s tolerances for suffering and delicately deal with them, is NOT a gadol.
Aside from all this, there’s a major problem with the idea you proposed that a “Gadol’s logic doesn’t have to agree with human logic”. A problem arises, because there are endless opinions as to who is a “Gadol” and who isn’t. Some people feel their Rabbaim are Gedolim. Everyone thinks someone else is a Gadol. And once that is the case, based on the concept you brought up, someone can say the most ridiculous statement that contains no logic whatsoever, and think it is the truth, simply because his Rabbi said it. And of course, all that does is make everyone else (who doesn’t hold by that Rabbi) think of this guy as a complete nut. Unfortunately, we see this happen in the CR occasionally, and it can sometimes have very negative effects. And in real life, the effects can be even worse.June 20, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm #916034AZOI.ISParticipant
I havent read all the posts, but I ask you, Goq, what advantage is there to anyone who rehashes their past, (unless ch”v they have no future)?
If youd invest that time doing gainful, enjoyable things, and focusing on your present and future instead of on the negatives in your past, wouldnt that give you more pleasure and make you more easy to be around, bringing about new friendships and asst other opportunities/possibilities with potential for increased happiness for you in the future?June 20, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm #916035
azo your response while thoughtful and appreciated does not address my opening post.June 20, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #916036
MP -“Health, this has absolutely nothing to do with emunas chachamim. This doesn’t even have anything to do with logic. This is about human emotions and sensitivities. A true Gadol would have the sensitivity to understand that each person is on their own level in terms of emotional responses to different types of pain, and not throw them all into one category. That is what a Gadol is. A leader. Someone who understands the needs of different people and can carefully determine the appropriate action for every individual based on their own situation. Someone who knows the entire Shas by heart but can’t differentiate between two people’s tolerances for suffering and delicately deal with them, is NOT a gadol.”
Somehow, somewhere you twisted my words. I’ll go back. Yes, you are correct a Godol does understand individual reponses to different situations. But just because he does -why does that preclude him from making the statement of -“s/o who lost a child is worse than a Holocaust survivor”? Why do you make it one way or the other? In this case, both are true.
“Aside from all this, there’s a major problem with the idea you proposed that a “Gadol’s logic doesn’t have to agree with human logic”. A problem arises, because there are endless opinions as to who is a “Gadol” and who isn’t. Some people feel their Rabbaim are Gedolim. Everyone thinks someone else is a Gadol. And once that is the case, based on the concept you brought up, someone can say the most ridiculous statement that contains no logic whatsoever, and think it is the truth, simply because his Rabbi said it. And of course, all that does is make everyone else (who doesn’t hold by that Rabbi) think of this guy as a complete nut. Unfortunately, we see this happen in the CR occasionally, and it can sometimes have very negative effects. And in real life, the effects can be even worse.”
E/o has the right to feel their Rebbe is a Godol. If a person who knows that person also, doesn’t feel that way -it is also within his right. But if a person doesn’t know whether that person is or not, they just can’t assume he’s not. They do have the right not to listen to something he says though – if he asks his own Rabbi and he says differently.
Again, as above, you decided one is exclusive of the other and this is Not the way to look at it.June 21, 2012 1:03 am at 1:03 am #916037PBTMember
It’s a pretty stupid and selfish thing to say. Everybody has their trials as Hashem sees fit to let them endure at whatever level. Having had a quite challenging upbringing myself I certainly know as well as anybody that children, even after they’re grown up, continue to feel pain from the very real hurts that family relationships can include. It’s how we respond to the hurts that answers whether we’ve passed whatever test Hashem wanted us to go through. Definitely, find somebody to talk with if that’s what you need — but somebody other than this person who will actually hear you out and attempt to be of honest help to you.
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