CREDOS : Suffering — II

You have power over the way you can respond to serious illness. Your response can lessen your pain and suffering, enhance the quality of your life, and in many cases actually extend life. A genuinely spiritual response to disease can turn a situation of deterioration and despair into an opportunity for finding purpose, evoking courage, fostering strength and promoting healing.

For centuries, Jews have developed a worldwide reputation for our ability to persevere through countless trials and tribulations, and to survive the most brutal of regimes.

In this way, Jews have been forced to make meaning out of suffering. That said we have no corner on the survival market, nor a magic formula to bring to a time of crisis. In fact,

Jews have drawn on strength from many sources — from the wisdom contained in spiritual practices, from a deep sense of responsibility for one another, and from a covenantal

connection to God.

A Jewish approach draws its power from some fundamental assumptions about life. Life is created, as the Genesis story reads, “in the image of God.” From our very first stories, we affirm that each single human life on Earth has worth and dignity beyond any use or function — it is sacred in and of itself. From a Jewish perspective, human life, even in a state of frailty, is of infinite value. As one popular Talmudic saying goes: “If you save one life it is as if you have saved the whole world.” —