Sanhedrin 101 - Suffering is Precious

Rabbi Eliezer took ill, and four Sages came to visit him. The three Sages praised him, but Rabbi Akiva told him, "Precious are sufferings, for they effect atonement for you." Said Rabbi Eliezer, "Support me, and I will hear the words of Rabbi Akiva, my student. From where do you derive this opinion?"

Rabbi Akiva derived it from a verse. " Menasheh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem... and he did evil in the eyes of God ."

Now Chizkiah his father taught Torah to the entire world. Of course, he taught his son Menasheh too. Nevertheless, with all the trouble that Chizkiah took with Menasheh to teach him the path of righteousness, in the end it was sufferings that elevated Menasheh to proper conduct: " God brought upon the people the king of Assyria, and they captured Menasheh with hooks and transported him to Babylon. When Menasheh was in distress, he humbled himself greatly before the God of his father, and God returned him to Jerusalem ".

Art: Janos Thorma - Sufferers