Askmoses-A Jews Resource
Why do we use a ram's horn for a Shofar?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.

Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.


Why can life be so difficult?

by Mrs. Shifra Hendrie


Library » Philosophy » Character | Subscribe | What is RSS?


The Short Answer:

We are born as moons, reflecting only what we receive from others. But we are destined to become suns, offering our own unique "shine" to all of creation. And when it comes to a transformation, the rule is this: in order to go up, you must first go down. If you want to become something new, you must first let go of what you were before.

And that's difficult.

The Askmoses Answer:  

Adolescence – The Darkness Before the Dawn

Do you remember what it was like to be an adolescent? The anger, the confusion, the rebellion? The intense need to express yourself, even in ways that were upsetting to the people around you?

Or maybe you are the parent of an adolescent. Maybe you long for the days when he or she was a sweet, compliant child, wanting nothing more than to be just like you.

Thankfully, adolescence doesn't last forever. And, in most cases, if you have truly good, solid values that you've transmitted with love, your adolescent will pass through this phase of turmoil and breakdown and come out the other side as a person who makes you really proud.

In fact, interestingly, it often turns out that the more trouble he gives you, the more likely he is to impress – or even amaze you – later on.

That's because, as the child temporarily removes himself from your guidance, your dominance - your 'light", so to speak - he begins to question, to look inside for answers, to explore his own feelings and to express himself from the inside out.

In an often chaotic, foolish, even destructive way, he begins to manifest his innate power to think his own thoughts, come to his own conclusions, choose his own goals and make his own decisions.

And in doing so, he slowly begins to experience the sense of self without which he would always remain a child – someone less than, and dependent upon you.

Turning a Moon into a Sun

As difficult as it often is, this is a necessary stage in the evolution of an authentic human being. A young child, as sweet, precious and adorable as he may be, is largely just a reflection of his parents. Whatever you think, he thinks. Whatever you believe, he believes. Like the moon, he may be lovely, but he is a reflector. You assert, and he believes. You decide, and he accepts. You give, and he takes.

As human beings, created in the image of the Creator, our destiny is not, ultimately, to be moons. We were created not simply to reflect, but to shine. We are destined to become suns, to offer our own unique "something" to the whole of Creation.

But the transition between reflecting and shining, moon and sun, is not smooth and linear. There is no logical progression from one state of being to the other.

For that reason, this transition requires what is often known as a transformation – a leap from one state of being to another, completely different one. And when it comes to a transformation, the rule is this: in order to go up, you must first go down. If you want to become something new, you must first let go of what you were before.

Darkness for the Sake of Light

Sometimes this process is easy. Sometimes the darkness of the transition between the old and the new is almost imperceptible. And sometimes the darkness is so intense that it feels like there's no light at all. When this is the case, it means that you must go deeper, farther within yourself, to find a level of light and power that you weren't in touch with before.


Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).


Philosophy » Creation
G-d » Creation
Philosophy » Pain and Suffering
Philosophy » Happiness

Jewish mysticism. The word Kaballah means "reception," for we cannot physically perceive the Divine, we merely study the mystical truths which were transmitted to us by G-d Himself through His righteous servants.
Literally means to rise up. Has two popular meanings: 1. Being called up to the Torah scroll and recite the blessings when the Torah is being read. 2. To emigrate to the Holy Land.
The first man, created by G-d on the sixth day of creation. He was banished from the Garden of Eden after eating from the forbidden fruit of the forbidden knowledge. Died in 2830 BCE.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.