November 8, 2021 by Lazer Brody
Let’s clarify a misconception that many people have about emuna and what it really means to believe in G-d.
Emuna teaches us that the Almighty not only created everything but continues to renew and revive creation every single moment. With emuna, we also know that the Almighty is a loving Father in Heaven who loves each of His children. Consequently, we believe that everything He does is for the very best always.
The suffering and tribulations that each of us have are by no means punishments. Hellfire and brimstone concepts of a vengeful G-d have nothing to do with emuna. Emuna is joy – joy in our individual right to have an intimate, personal relationship with our Father in Heaven. So even when we suffer, we know that it’s for the best. Our Father in Heaven wants to bring out the greatness in each of us, His children. No one becomes great from sitting on a recliner in front of a TV set.
Emuna is joy, but building and strengthening emuna is certainly not remaining within one’s comfort zone. We sometimes suffer and we often hurt.
There are people who say that anyone who isn’t happy and smiling all the time is an ingrate who lacks emuna. That’s not true!
A fitness coach contacted me after 7 weeks of battling COVID-19. Thank G-d he wasn’t hospitalized, but he heels weak. He can’t work and he’s had no income for 7 weeks. He feels physically and emotionally drained with little energy left for anything. To add insult to injury, he has a guilty conscience because he simply doesn’t have the will to engage in personal prayer.
In a consultation he had with me earlier today, he said, “I know there’s much to be grateful for. My eyes, lungs and heart are OK. I can taste and smell again. My wife and baby are also recovering, thank goodness. But I’ve had so many setbacks recently, I just can’t say anything sincerely to Hashem. Really, life is becoming unbearable for me.”
I asked him if he felt like crying. He said, “For sure, yes!”
“That’s wonderful!” I replied. I told him that if he cries to his Father in Heaven and expresses his pain and worries, nothing could be more sincere.
This is the exact mistake people make: they don’t cry. No one expects you to laugh if you ache all over. Be honest; you can’t fake it with the Almighty. He doesn’t like bitterness and complaining, especially when there is so much to be thankful for. But you must say what hurts you. If you can’t honestly express your pain and shed real tears to Hashem, Who really loves you and cares about you, then who else on earth is there to cry to? What’s more, a good cry to a loving Father in Heaven is ever so relieving.
Therefore, it’s not only OK to cry, it’s a solemn duty to share your pain with the Almighty. This contributes to a genuine, intimate relationship with Him. And wait and see the boost in emuna you’ll get when the Almighty Himself soothes your pain – there is no greater sublime pleasure on earth.
The mighty King David says in Psalm 6, “Every night, I swim in bed – it is soaked with my tears”. Sure, he constantly praises and thanks the Almighty, but he sure does shed his tears and expresses his pain and fears as well. So it’s OK to cry, and thanks to our loving Father in Heaven, there’s Someone to cry to Who really cares about you. G-d bless!
3 comments on “It’s OK to Cry”
אין יותר אינטימיות מאשר השם. הוא יודע כל מאויי נשמתי , ליבי וגופי. מודה לו שיכולה להתחבר אליו בכל מקום בכל זמן. ושומע כל תפילה בכי, כאב ושמחה. ומתוך האמונה קיבלתי את הסבלנות והבטחון לראות ולקווות לישועות. כי אין לנו אף אחד מלבדו. וזה בסדר לבכות אחרי לב שבור נבנה לב מושלם
Bava Metzia 59a: “…the Gates of Tears are never closed.” This thought is shared in the opening pages of the It’s MY Crisis and I’ll Cry if I Need to: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge book.
Rabbi Brody , thank you for this podcast. It is so soothing to define emuna the way Rav defined it. Sometimes we mix happiness with joy & life becomes complicated. But the way Rav used the world ,” joy” brought so much clarity.
“ joy is our individual right to have an intimate, personal relationship with our Father in Heaven. So even when we suffer, we know that it’s for the best.” Thank you so much