I heard or read once that, according to Hasidic masters, there was a message one should learn from in everything a Jew sees or hears in a given day. I often think of it when faced with unusual situations.

Does anyone know a source for that idea? Is it authentic?

  • It is a chassidish belief, can't remember off hand which rebbe though. – The GRAPKE May 4 at 10:10
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    I don't think it was from Chabad originally, but they do quote it. כל מה שיהודי רואה או שומע הוא הוראה בעבודת השם יתברך. (From books.google.co.uk/books?id=Hw8mAQAAIAAJ) – The GRAPKE May 4 at 11:00
  • Are you asking about tragic situations, like death or destruction? Or do you mean anything at all one sees in a given day? – chortkov2 May 4 at 11:00
  • @chortkov2 tragic situations are, in a way, too obvious. I am asking about day to day "special events", e.g., a wealthy man who decides to divorce after 27 years of an apparently perfect marriage – mbloch May 4 at 12:03
  • My rebbi R' Nochum Lansky shlit"a once said that you can darshen a New York Times. It's just a lot harder than darshening verses in the Torah. Everything comes from Hashem. – MichoelR May 4 at 13:43

The Talmud in Sotah (2a) cites Rebbi who says, "Why does the portion of Nazir (the one who is forbidden to consume wine) follow the portion of Sotah (the wife suspected of adultery)? To teach you that anyone who sees a Sotah in her degradation should separate himself from wine. [My Translation - See Below For Actual Text]

The Ba'al Shem Tov reportedly commented: Why does Rebbi only charge the one who sees a Sotah to separate from wine? Shouldn't we all, every reader of the Chumash, respond to the portion of Sotah? Rather it is specifically the one who sees not the reader of the Chumash. The person who actually witnesses the Sotah in her degradation was put in that situation to learn some sort of message. Rebbi says that the person's response should be to separate from alcoholic beverages.

I am not well versed in Chassidic teachings, but I believe that this is one source to the idea presented in the question.

אמרו בפ"ק דסוטה (ב.) תניא רבי אומר למה נסמכה פרשת נזיר לפרשת סוטה לומר לך שכל הרואה סוטה בקלקולה יזיר עצמו מן היין

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    Thanks for this, well done – mbloch May 6 at 18:22

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