Why Is Life So Hard?

Life as we know it is a rollercoaster, with constant ups and downs. The many setbacks we experience on the daily come in the way of our life mission. Wouldn’t a physical and spiritual paradise be more conducive to our success?

Hashem wants us to fulfill our mission successfully. Why, then does He make things difficult for us, by placing us in exile with hardships and distractions? 

This is a recurring theme in many aspects of life: being pushed to complete a grueling workout during a busy day, attempting to focus on our davening while our mind drifts off to our shopping list, and so on.

The same dilemma already presented itself way back in our history with Moshe Rabeinu. Also known as “Ish Mitzri” — an “Egyptian Man”, Moshe struggled with Egypt from the start. Egypt is the very place that tried to obstruct Moshe’s birth and his rise to greatness, with the decree to drown newborn baby boys in the Nile. And yet, Moshe’s identity is linked with Egypt, the antithesis of his existence.

Why did Hashem make life so challenging?

Today, medical science promotes a truth that the Gemara already taught us millennia ago: our muscles are strengthened through consecutive exercise, whereas inactivity weakens them. Every effort takes our endurance up a notch. The Rebbe brings this example to illustrate the challenge of davening. Overcoming distracting thoughts during our davening reveals our inner strength and devotion. This can only be actualized through our internal struggle and intense effort to overcome the diversion of attention from our davening.

So too, Moshe’s role as the leader of the Jewish nation was built from his challenges and struggle with Egypt. He rose to greatness specifically because of the difficulties he went through in Egypt.

Ultimately, the difficulties along the road are the stepping stones to our success. The twists and turns that Hashem puts us through are not to break us down, but to build us up. Why is life so hard? Ask your personal trainer!

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