The Foundation Stone Haggadah: Suffering
Those things that come naturally to a person do not need Yesurin- Afflictions – to be achieved. However, those things that are beyond nature necessitate suffering because they take us beyond our physical existence. For example; prophecy came through a breaking of the body. As the Rambam says: A man is composed of Sechel Guf and Neshama – Logic, Body and Soul – Hashem wanted us to see that each part could be Lema’alah min hateva – above nature. Torah lifts our Sechel- Minds, Eretz Yisrael lifts our bodies, and Olam Habah lifts our Neshamah.
Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi explains that there is a similarity between Yesurin and the process of the neshamah and the body. When the soul is placed in the body it is in exile. It can only go to Olam Habah if it first is in the body. So too, the Jews had to go into exile in order to get to Eretz Yisrael – the Land of Israel.