The Great Divide

When I first arrived in the Old City of Jerusalem I met Rav Noach Weinberg (may his memory be a blessing), the founder of Yeshiva Aish HaTorah. He asked, What’s the opposite of pain? Pleasure? The opposite of pain is no pain, comfort. In order to experience pleasure one has to experience pain. No matter what we want to achieve in life.


Want to earn a million dollars? Raise a family? Win a gold medal? Create a masterpiece? Connect to the Divine? One needs to first experience pain in order to ultimately experience pleasure.


God created the world for our pleasure. There are many pleasures in this world. Physical pleasures. Love. Morality or the pleasure of giving. Self discovery and actualization. Transcendental meditation. We are meant to experience them all. We need only to clarify exactly what our pleasures are in order not to be led astray by their counterfeits and succumb to comfort & apathy.


To the extent that we are able to look beyond our own base desires and are thankful for the gifts which are bestowed upon us is the extent that we will be able to connect to God, which is our greatest pleasure, the purpose of our existence, and the meaning of life.