20 Tishrei 5782 / Sunday, September 26, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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HomeSpirituality and FaithEmuna Means Thank YouSay Thank You for ABUSE?!
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Say Thank You for ABUSE?!    

Say Thank You for ABUSE?!

I wasn’t only being asked to believe that the suffering was for the best, but to actually thank Hashem for it with a full heart. This took my healing to another level.


In my previous article Dr. Emuna: Put the Knife Down, I discussed how my childhood abuse propelled me to search for the truth and eventually find it in The Garden of Emuna. Now, I want to share with you a little more of the story, and my personal thank you’s for what I suffered, plus my own miracle story.  


Now, I had my life mission: To find the purpose for my suffering. Once I got to college and was free to be myself for the first time, I really hit the ground running. Eventually I found Torah (ie Orthodox ie REAL) Judaism and in it, I found a lot of truth, and a lot of answers. 


However, I still had these old wounds – wounds that were still raw and open. And I still hadn’t found anything that would heal them within Judaism.  


That is, until one day a new friend handed me The Trail to Tranquility to read while waiting for the Friday night meal to start. She explained that another book called The Garden of Emuna had just come out, but she was busy reading her only copy. I proceeded to devour The Trail to Tranquility over Shabbos, and bought The Garden of Emuna on Sunday. As I read the book, I realized: This is it. This is THE TRUTH that I have been searching for all these years. This is the purpose of life, and the purpose of all the suffering I endured. Finally, I know the reason why life is worth living! 


The next big turnaround came with the publication of Say Thank You and See Miracles. Now for the first time, I wasn’t only being asked to believe that the suffering was for the best, but to actually thank Hashem for it, with a full heart. This took my healing to another level altogether. 


I decided to get to work thanking Hashem every day for every aspect of my childhood and its continued effects on my present-day life. Work is a good word for it, because it was (and still is) anything but easy. At first, I literally couldn’t get the words out. I had to read and re-read Rabbi Arush’s teachings on saying thank you until I could finally just say the words at all, without feeling: “Thank you Hashem, for the abuse I suffered as a child.”  


Over time, as I found the words and started working out those emuna muscles, it got easier and easier. Sometimes I still get stuck on a topic that surfaces, but now that I am used to thanking Hashem over the topic, I get through the tears and the panic much faster, and into the healing that comes with just dumping it all on Hashem and realizing that although I definitely DO NOT understand how it is for the best, still I believe that it definitely was and still is for my ultimate good. 


Rabbi Arush promises that someone who thanks Hashem for his suffering, will one day understand already in this world why it was for the best. Along those lines, I want to share with you a few “thank you’s” that I have realized doing this work. 


In retrospect, now I realize that it wasn’t long after this almost attempted suicide with its huge impact on my life, that Hashem started the process which eventually ended in a court order which took me away from my abuser. Now I see Hashem’s Guiding Hand clearly in getting me that order, which unfortunately is quite rare for abuse cases. Seems that searching for the purpose of life already at a young age was part of Hashem’s plan for me. Once I got the lesson I was supposed to learn from the abuse, it ended soon after. Hence, it served a very good purpose, for which I thank Hashem. 


Another purpose for my childhood abuse is that it forced me to live a life of purpose. My emotional state left me no space for fun and games – not as a child, not as a teenager, and not as a young adult. 


But now, I thank Hashem for that. That spared me a lot of time wasted on drinking, partying and empty relationships, like I saw my friends doing. Additionally, because I started searching for the answers young, I found the answers young. And that has given me a lot more years to live the truth!  


Compare that to many people I know. Some of them are even externally “successful” with money, big houses, children and grandchildren. But for all their “good life” they aren’t happy! One even admitted to me once that she wouldn’t care if she died the next day, because life isn’t worth the suffering to her. 


Many people I grew up with are now intermarried – and most of them subsequently divorced, each with their own sob story. The children of the guys aren’t even Jewish. 


If you compared them to me as children, their advantages were obvious. But now, I am clearly the one with the advantage! In comparison, I’ll take my childhood as is, because now I live the real good life. If that’s what it took, so be it – I’ll choose my portion again any day. And let’s get real – I am only enjoying the fruits of my efforts in this world. The real reward is waiting for me in the Next World.  


And the final thank you – that now I use my experiences to help other people strengthen their emuna. That really makes it all worth it. 


Moreover, I experienced a big miracle as well. I have a particular physical problem that was directly caused by the abuse I suffered as a child. A top doctor told me that my only option to end the pain it caused me was elective surgery – there are other treatments, but my case was too severe to make it worth even trying them. She explained that she doesn’t do the surgery but could give me a referral, and I could try to get part of it covered by insurance because it affected my everyday living. 


I decided to weather the pain a bit longer, and I focused on continuing to thank Hashem for both the problem and the abuse with renewed vigor. And the impossible happened – the pain that I suffered for years with, just went away! Not in one day, but slowly, slowly over some months I realized that I was in less and less pain, until one day I realized that the pain had been gone for some time already… The doctor is totally baffled, but I’m not – I said thank you, and saw miracles! 



An important point – take note that in thanking Hashem for the abuse, I am NOT condoning it. I am not saying that abuse is inherently good or that it is OK to abuse, or let yourself be abused, G-d forbid. 


I AM saying that after the fact, when dealing with childhood abuse that I was powerless to stop, I recognize some small silver linings of why it was from Hashem and for my best.  


If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, please GET HELP! There are wonderful resources which can help you, and people who really care. I personally recommend the Amudim anonymous support line – in both America, and Israel: www.amudim.org 


Readers are also welcome to contact me personally at rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il. I am not a trained therapist and don’t recommend trying to substitute me for one, but as someone with a lot of therapy and emuna experience, I am grateful to have helped a number of people so far. 


Ultimately, this topic goes in the list along with the Holocaust and why children die. We can understand general principles, but in this world we don’t get a clear answer as to why it was good. Rabbi Arush deals with this topic in depth in Chapter 1 of The Garden of Emuna. 


For more information about differentiating between  emuna during a test versus after the fact, as well as understanding how emuna applies when dealing with other people’s suffering, please reference my article Separating Milk and Meat in Life. 





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