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Lamentations: Third Kinah 14

“…when they rebelled wantonly…” The Netziv says, “Sometimes God will inflict vengeances that adversely affect the religious observance of even righteous people. As a result, they will dedicate themselves more


zealously to God’s service, thereby earning His help and salvation.”

There is no question that our religious life has been decimated by the destruction and exile. We must respond to this challenge by becoming more zealous in our service of God. This often happens on a personal level as well; People’s suffering often affects their religious life; their prayer, their study, a loss of energy to serve God with passion. It is easy to fall into the trap of experiencing their travails as a rejection of their Avodas Hashem.

The Netziv is teaching us that this is actually a challenge to become even more zealous in our observance. God constantly pushes us to grow, to work on ourselves; our response to suffering, and to strive to become closer to Him.

The key is to not allow our frustration to interfere with our Avodas Hashem.

There is a difference between frustration and limitations. Circumstances may make it impossible to continue with equal passion everything the person is doing. Frustration can make it impossible to grow in any way at all.  Even a person who is ill can pray with more passion. He must direct his desperation to his prayer. Even if he is able to pray only one short paragraph with deep concentration he is responding properly.

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