The Midrash explains that, originally, Adam wore kosnos or (spelled with an alef) – garments of light. (See Sh’nei Luchos HaBris: T’tzavehTorah Or. See also Torah T’mimah, B’reishis 3:21.) After he sinned, Hashem clothed him in kosnos or (spelled with an ayin) – garments of skin (B’reishis 3:21). When spelled with an alef, or is light; when spelled with an ayin, or is a hide, the skin of an animal. What is the deeper meaning behind this?

K’vod malchus’cha yomeiru, u’g’vuras’cha y’dabeiru

Of the glory of Your kingdom they will speak, and of Your power they will tell;

Often, when we are in pain – whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual – we beg Hashem every day, with all our heart, to make the pain go away. We imagine how wonderful life will be when the challenge finally passes, and each day we hold on to that image, cherish it, and hope for Hashem to make that day come faster. We cry, we suffer, we push, and just when we think we cannot take it anymore, just when we think we may not make it to another day, when every last ounce of strength and hope has faded, the pain begins to subside.

We have reached a level of insanity that is beyond explicable. People’s views are illogical and distorted. Once, I believe, most people were somewhat normal, healthy-thinking people who recognized and agreed on what is good and what is evil, what is truth and what is a lie.

In our last few articles, we spoke about the empowering nature of challenges, discussing how the purpose of a challenge, as the Ramban explains, is to push us to actualize our latent potential, to transform our koach (potential) into po’al (actual). However, there is one last level of nisayon that requires clarification. To address it, we must ask an important question:

We have previously discussed how the purpose of a challenge is to push us to actualize our latent potential. As the Ramban explains, the purpose of a challenge is to transform our koach (potential) into po’al (actual). Hashem already knows exactly who we are and what we can become; the purpose of an ordeal is to enable us to realize who we can become so that we can then actualize that potential. This week, we’re going to explore a fascinating expression of this idea found in the following midrash (quoted by Rashi on Taanis 30b):