So many people are feeling dreary with the flu. May they recover quickly!
How does this work from G-d’s perspective? This illness holds us back from doing so many good things and furthering our mission?
Who knows… here’s a telling story:
There was once a Jew who lived on a farm, far away from any Jewish community. He was a devout and pious man, and he and his wife did their best to create a Jewish home for his children. But he yearned to be surrounded by Jews, to be able to pray in a shul, study Torah with like-minded people and be part of a community. Day in and day out for years he would sit alone with his prayer book and his volume of Talmud, wishing he could share them with others.
After many years, his dream started to come true. Slowly, more Jews moved to his area. It took decades, but he did build a community. Forty years after his arrival, that remote country town boasted a shul with daily services, regular Torah classes, a mikvah and a warm little community. He was no longer praying alone.
But the Rebbe said something astounding about this.
This Jew certainly got more pleasure from the vibrant latter years than the lonely early ones. But we don’t know which G-d enjoyed more. It could be G-d took pleasure from his lonely prayers of yearning, all those years of wishing and pining, even more than the communal satisfaction that came later.
A sincere desire to do good is itself a holy moment. When you wish you could help someone but circumstances don’t allow it, or when you truly would love to do a mitzvah but your health prevents you from doing it, that pure intention is precious to G-d. And who knows, maybe more precious than when you do a mitzvah with ease.
May you have a full recovery and get back to all your good deeds with full strength. And when things are good, remember your precious loneliness.
Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org