Home Faith “You Call This Good?!”

“You Call This Good?!”

by Yehudis Golshevsky

BRI’s NarrowBridge.Org sends out twice weekly inspiration providing a regular dose of hope, meaning and courage. These emails include small doses of Rebbe Nachman’s wisdom, enabling us to get through the week in a more spiritual way. 

If you would like to receive these emails click here.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

When one person meets a friend and asks him how he’s doing,
and the friend answers, “Lousy!”—G-d says, “You call this lousy? I’ll show you lousy…”
And then he winds up facing worse things than before, G-d forbid.
But when they meet, and the friend answers joyfully,
“Good, thank G-d!”—even though he really isn’t doing too well at all
G-d says, “You call this good?! I’ll show you good!”
(Siach Sarfei Kodesh II.32)


What does this mean to me?

I feel like this teaching from Siach Sarfei Kodesh arouses two pretty pointed questions. Firstly, if a person already feels like his situation is bad, why would G-d inflict further trouble on him because of his bad attitude? And, in the second case, what is positive about a person pretending that things are good if they really aren’t? Shouldn’t he at least be honest?

As far as the first question goes, it seems like the worsening of the complainer’s situation isn’t so much a punishment as it is the natural result of having a lousy attitude! The worse it seems, the worse it gets.

In terms of the second question…who said that the person is pretending? If he’s really joyous, it means that he’s found something to rejoice in even though his situation isn’t exactly rosy. That’s not pretending; that’s treasuring the kindnesses that G-d provides even within the imperfection. He thanks G-d because he knows that he has what to be thankful for. That’s real. And it draws down even more of G-d’s mercy.

One of my children went through a phase when all he wanted to do was draw. He was satisfied with his little pile of broken crayons, and was overjoyed with the simple box of twelve that I finally picked up at the store. When I saw how grateful he was for the little gift (and they were not the best quality—just what I found nearby), I was determined to buy him the 120-box with the sharpener in the back if I could find one…just for the pleasure of seeing how happy he would be. I’ll show you good!


A prayer:

Loving G-d,
help me discover and uncover
all that is good,
all that is positive in the world.
Camouflaged though they may be,
let me find those elusive sparks
of holy light.
Let me perceive all the beauty and truth
hidden within Your creation..
(The Gentle Weapon, p. 83*)

We encourage hearing your feedback and may anonymously publish your remarks. Please send email to: [email protected]


B”H Once again…perfect timeing ! Don’t know how you knew……B”H ! Toda Raba

This offering of your is exactly what I needed this week! You serve many unknown here and we are blessed by your service. Encouragement is needed everywhere, that we are not abandoned or left alone.

Can’t thank you enough for adding me to this list. So far I’ve received 2 of your writings, and they are soooooooo inspiring. I read that someone else commented that they seem to just hit the spot with what is going on that particular day for them, YES, same here. The prayers are lovely, and very encouraging. Right now I”m studying “The Flame of the Heart” and starting to use many of these prayers daily as I find they speak directly to my heart and needs. Also, so do your emails. And short, so easy to read and absorb and put into practice what Rebbe Nachman and Reb Nosan suggest. I love everything Breslov…. Thank you so much for taking the time for the Narrow Bridge !!

A wonderful lesson. How often do we feel like this. we know there is a window open somewhere and even if its in front of us, we fail to see it. like hagar, G-d opened her eyes and she saw the well, and the sages say the well was actually always there… Rebbe Nachman brings hopes to the darkest places in the world…
From Malaysia. T

Yasher Koach. Keep up the good work.

*“The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments – Timeless Wisdom from the Teachings of the Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Adapted by Moshe Mykoff & S.C. Mizrahi with the Breslov Research Institute, 1999.  Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, www.jewishlights.com.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment