One of the most common questions asked of me is “Why Me?”
When problems abound in our lives and when the challenges of life seem overwhelming, we suddenly remember G-d and we point the accusatory finger right at Him as we ask “Why Me?”
Usually as the Rabbi and as the unofficial spokesman of the Almighty, the question comes to my desk and the proverbial “Why Me?” is directed at me.
Funny, I can hardly ever recall anyone coming into my office and say to me, “Why me? My children all came home safely from school today; why was I privileged to this kindness?”
I remind all of you that only two weeks ago today I participated in the funeral of a two year girl who never came home alive from playgroup.
On Monday, once again for the second time in less than two weeks I participated in a funeral where the father said Kaddish over the body of his child.
The way of the world is that children should bury their parents; however, the last two funerals I have participated in (which were less than two weeks apart) were funerals where the parents buried their children. Both of these young people were never married; both died way below the average life expectancy of our country.
Perhaps the next day my office should have been filled with couples waiting in line to ask me, “Why me?” “Why was my family spared the sorrow of burying a child?”
Alas, there were no lines and no one came to ask me “Why was I privileged to have my child come home safely today?” That is not the way of the world. When good happens we chalk it up to ‘entitlement’; while when ‘not-good’ occurs, we are quick to point the finger at Him and shout “Why ME”?
When we go to work every day do we ask Hashem “Why ME?” “Why am I employed?” Do we ever stop to realize that there are highly intelligent and capable men and women out there who for one reason or another are unemployed? They are often ashamed to be seen in Shul at the early Mincha for fear of people realizing that they are among the
Do we ask G-d every day “Why do I have a job?” If you are blessed with children, did you ever stop and ask Hashem today, “G-d, why did you pick me to be blessed with children? The Chazon Ish never had any children. The Lubavitcher Rebbe never did; the Satmar Rebbe buried all three of his daughters in his lifetime and left this world childless. And yet, I have children.” Did you ever ask Hashem, “Why Me? Why do I have children?”
Are you married? Do you have a significant ‘other’ in your life? Did you ever stop in the morning and say to Hashem, “Why was I privileged to get married?” Yet, when there are bumps in the marriage, you are there to ask Hashem, “Why do I have such a spouse?”
Are you alive today? Are you breathing? Can you see? Can you walk? Do you have clothes on your back? Do you have food in your stomach? And do you have heat in your home?
If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, then how about asking Hashem today, “Why Me? Why was I privileged to see, hear, have food, be able to breath and live?”
Be thankful for what you have; and never forget, there are millions of people in the world who would change places with you in a second.
Enjoy what you have and perhaps ask yourself, “Why ME?”