Tests: Why God Gives Them

Would you send your child to a school that gives no tests?

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Comments (28)

(22) Dmity, August 21, 2012 7:24 PM

Great stuff, Lori! I think that the suggested "test" mindset would work for nearly all of our life's situations, apart from the ones that end in a gas chamber. Did those folks pass the test and why did HaShem give them a test whose results they were never to know? How does the theory about "90% toward passing of the test" applies to a 20-year old, who is about to pass away from a terminal cancer, - for him such a mindset is no longer an option! Thanks!

(21) Clara, July 25, 2012 5:27 AM

Tests from G-d

I thought you were very flippant talking about "tests" from G-d. There are those that can be so painful they affect a person's very soul. You're talking about financial tests and political tests but could you honestly direct your message to the parents, husband and children of a young woman who just died?

ellen, July 26, 2012 3:50 PM

I agree

I feel the same way and was very disturbed, not so much about the message but the way it was presented. I hope the next few weeks, when Lori will continue to talk about tests from God, that it will be done with more sensitivity. A test from God can be a heartbreaking ordeal and it was treated all too casually for me.

shoshana, August 5, 2012 5:38 PM


Define "test". If you're talking about painful things that happen to people, that is not a test. That is pain. Any pain- Pain just like when I stub my toe in the morning. I'm not trying to minimize the extent of pain that people experience. But the pain in itself is not the TEST. The tests are the moral decisions we have to make each moment of life, painful or not. Of course, having to deal with a painful situation can make making a moral decision harder (will I be rude to my spouse now that my toe is throbbing?). But you need to diffrentiate between hard things happening to people and being tested in our character- how we will behave in a given situation. In fact, the pains of life are there to get us to advance in our spiritual goals. I may think I am a patient and loving spouse-until the day I stub my toe! Life is like an obstacle course- all the challenges of life, even the daily struggle to earn a living and put food on the table (G-d could have made money very easily accessible to all) are only there to give us a framework in which to forward our spiritual advancement and become more G-d like as a result(the ultimate pleasure). The only opportunity to do this is in this physical world. We are given tests to bring out into existence the potential that we have lying dormant in ourselves and to show US what we're really made of.

(20) Anonymous, July 25, 2012 5:10 AM

If Gd is omniscient He knows the outcome before He tests...

So, what is the point of the test? When a human teacher. Tests s/he does not know for certain how each student will fare. The analogy is thus flawed. My q remains, and had always bugged me in that it raises a larger q as to whether one can have "free will" when hid Creatof knows one's every move before s/he makes it. Thanx for your consideration. Mark

Moshe, July 26, 2012 5:19 PM

There is free will

Hazal said: "HaKol Biydey Shamaim Hutz Me'Yirat Shamaim". I hope I can translate it well into English: "Everything is in the hands of Heaven (the Almighty) except for the fear of Heaven". This is the basis of free will, otherwise there would be no grounds for punishment and reward. This does not mean that the Almifgty does not intervene in what is happening down here. A verse in the bible says (Mishley (Proverbs), chapter 21 verse 1): "Palgey Main Lev Melech B'Yad Ha'Shem Al Kol Asher Yachpotz Yatenu", meaning: A creek of water is the heart of a king in the hands of the Almighty, and He directs it to wherever He wants". So, if a person can affect the fates of many people, such as a king or a president, the Almighty will not allow him to do too stupid things and unnecessary damage. It is really sad that a Jewish man (I suppose you are Jewish) is ignorant in basic spiritual ideas. Please locate a Yeshiva in your neighborhood (a super orthodox one) and find the time to learn some basics of Jewish tradition. It will do you only good, lots of good. Wishing you all the best.

Yossi, August 2, 2012 7:03 PM

There is no such thing as past present and future for Gd

Gd created space and time. Just as He is everywhere he is also everywhen. For you it's what will you do in the future but to Him, He is in your future and He knows what you have already done. Does the fact that you know what someond did in your own past retroactively remove that person's free choice?

(19) chavie, July 25, 2012 12:00 AM

true but sometimes hard to comprehend

So true Lori. But it reminds me of when my daughter was not yet three, a bird pooped on her when we were walking. She looked mortified and I explained that the birdie was saying he loves her. She simply remarked, "then why doesn't he just come down and kiss me." Sometimes the tests are hard to understand. But thank you for a thoughtful moment.

(18) Gary, July 24, 2012 8:08 PM

very wise

The Almighty does want the best for us. As humans we need that prompting or test to tell us that we don't know nearly as much as we think we know. God really does want us to do our homework.

(17) Donna Perel, July 24, 2012 7:01 PM

This is a test.....

Lori Thank you, Thank you and Thank you! Coming during the Nine Days your message gave me the chizuk that I needed and a reminder of how it feels when you come out of a test that the Almighty created just for you. Imagine an IEP in a way for every single neshoma! I have had many tests in my life. Nothing feels as good as when you have come to the end of the test that you felt you could NEVER pass and you look back and you realize that YOU DID IT! Remember that each of life's tests are tremendous hugs from the Almighty who is our Father and who loves us and knows that we can pass His tests.

(16) Canuck, July 24, 2012 6:16 PM

Since marks have become meaningless, what's the point of tests?

As a semi-retired teacher with 46 years experience, let me assure you that these days there is little value in giving tests, other than wasting teaching time & creating unecessary stress. The combined effects of political correctness student rights parent aggressiveness have made it risky for many teachers to fail anyone. The exception is, of course, those teachers who are "protected"--i.e., who have strong connections with their administrators &/or school board officials. Yes, these protogés can mark as they please, but why should they bother? The result of this situation is that most marks are, as they say in the teaching business, "padded." And don't think that standardized, externally marked exams are necessarily a solution. Some time ago my students wrote such an exam, & shortly afterward--to my shock--i discovered that the best students had fared poorly while the worst students had obtained good marks. Upon investigation i found that the answer key was faulty. For the sake of my students i took up this matter with the local Dept. of Ed. But was forced to abandon it when (as it became apparent) i was ruffling too many feathers & ptentially risking my job. So...do you still insist that your kids be examined?

(15) Bea Pollock, July 24, 2012 6:13 PM

I don't feel it's true at all the we need to be tested to see how well we learned or will learn.I taught school for many years and just by observing my students and the way the answered when I questioned them on the material we were learning I knew w

I put my comments mistakenly on the one line summary. This word test alone gets me so riled up and angers me. Why? Because I've seen students who studied for tests and passed them only to forget what they studied and supposedly learned after the test That to me is not learning and the test was worthless. Some are able to cheat, while those who do poorly on tests may have studied harder then those who cheated or passed the test. Some students just can't take tests for one reason or another. It's not fair to base a students learning ability on test taking. I know it's the way it is, and I feel bad about it. I don't feel it's fair to all students. I taught for many years and never gave tests. I knew from interacting with my students as I taught if they are learning and absorbing what I am teaching. I didn't have to test them to see. If I noticed a weak student who could not or did not take part in the discussions or oral learning, I would call him/her aside and tutor them privately. This was learning that was remembered and not just for the test. That learning stayed with them.

(14) JULIUS ROMANOFF, July 24, 2012 5:04 PM

Tests need to be used to create effective teaching techniques.

G-d did not create people all alike. Teaching people with different learning styles does not enable all to learn. All a teacher is taught by our Education schools are to teach to the learning style of the majority of students. How did the Lord teach the Jewish people the Torah? G-d taught Moses first. Moses taught Aaron, who then taught the Elders of the Tribes. The Elders taught the members of their tribe. Since there werw no written books, teaching was done by repitition of the material in unison by all the people. If one did not remember the words, he heard the content as it was said by the group. Learning should have the students learn from each other, Teasting can be used to evaluate a student's learning style. Verbal learners, Kinesthetic, and those who learn by doing can form a group, who work together, and teach each other. The teacher evaluates the learning groups which are most effective.and can re-group the class. The Teacher has to incorporate reading so that learning can utilize books which contain our knowledge. Teachers need to be creative, and feel students working together is not copying, but teaching each other..

(13) Richard, July 24, 2012 4:31 PM

Another day, another test...

Another day, another test I feel as if I'm ready for almost anything. When Shabbat comes, and I go to shul, I'm so happy and grateful for my life, I almot laugh out loud, as I give my thanks!! RMM

(12) Gloria, July 24, 2012 4:27 PM

Exactly Right!

You are so right about teachers and tests. The only way for a teacher to decide what to teach particular children is to assess what they already know and to build upon that that prior base of knowledge. It is a step by step process and the teacher has to see which step each child has gotten to on the staircase of knowledge. Tests give the teacher this information.

(11) Anonymous, July 24, 2012 4:17 PM

um not so m'am

oy ...cant go with this entirely so all things both good and perceived bad are of God? LOL don't think so.. what of those who suffer from hereditary terminal disease from birth to what end is this a test??? Whew!! i think you rethink the overall message on this one nuh sorry jut cant go with this one

(10) ruth housman, July 24, 2012 4:09 PM

being testy, about tests

I understand your point of view, but I also see an opposite perspective, and in fact, I have encountered too too much testing, and what this does to kids. There is this "thing" about passing the test, which has nothing at all to do with a passion for learning, and some teachers hold this as a weapon, and kids are afraid, and it's actually less about learning. Making the grade isn't always about passig the test. I have seen beautiful alterative schools that promulgate through creative teaching a total LOVE of learning, and children absorb this enthusiasm. It's infectious and quite obvious who needs extra help in grasping a concept or whatever is being creatively taught. So no, I do not accept this metaphor in its entirety. I cannot. As for God giving us tests I would say it's appropriate to ask why we encounter so many, and some are truly horrific as in terrible disease and wasting illness, and in loss that is often bringing us insurmountable pain. It's easy to say, we're being tested and we rise through these tests. I think there is way way more to this story, and yes, we all do hit the rocks, and we all bleed. That story has to do with helping each other up, but it also has to do with going to the Wailing Wall, to Jerusalem, and saying, God, enough is enough. Please end this endless war, this pain. Maybe it's time for a new story. This too, is part of the story... and I am one who questions and dialogues with God constantly over this issue. And I AM getting profound answers.

(9) Rilla Casey, July 24, 2012 3:26 PM

First time here. So enjoyed, up front, not plastic, realistic speech. God has given you a platform Lori to speak to the very evident weakness, or needs of a society which seems to have lost its moral compass. Grass roots all over the country, even in the midst of troubling times, are starting to come forth. Face to face with people who are reaching down within themselves recognizing that there is much more to living than just existing. I am blessed to have viewed your quick clips with the understanding that you are a very valuable extension of a greater work in the shaking that is happening here in America. Thank you for being faithful to the purpose that G-d has gifted you with.

(8) Linda K. Morales, July 24, 2012 2:57 PM

God is faithful, even in our testings.

Thank you Lori for this message on testing. It reminds me of how faithful God is that even in tests He never leaves us stranded. Last year our son was under employed for a whole year and I am just realizing that the whole time we too (his parents) were being tested by God. Would we continue to bless His name, look to Him for our son's provision, believe that there was an end to this and that God was in control every day of that year! We are thankful to the LORD for drawing us nearer to His love during that year, seeing how He provided all things needed. I believe in His Word and thank Him. He never stopped showing us how much He loved us. He took care of our son and allowed a way for our son to realized that it was God who brought him through! "The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought your out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." Deuteronomy 7:7-9

(7) Yonit, July 24, 2012 2:50 PM

What if the tests were questions of life and death?

Nice analogy, but God's tests involve life and death. I don't think we would send our kids to schools where the punishment for failing the math test was death :)

(6) Anonymous, July 24, 2012 2:34 PM

This isnt necessarily true there are other ways of seeing if a student has absorbed the info then test and to say that a teacher who donst give tests dosnt care is just unfair

Anonymous, July 25, 2012 2:23 AM

an example

she was just giving the test idea so that we can relate to it better

(5) Anonymous, July 23, 2012 1:07 PM

Different kinds of tests

I appreciate what you said, and there certainly is alot of wisdom there. However, I grew up in the 50's and 60's and I attended public school. Most of the teachers were teaching from old notes they had made years ago. I don't think they really cared if the students were absorbing the material or not, or even if the test was a fair test. It just had to be done, like everything else. Taking tests was just a part of their job, to get their monthly paycheck. When I became religious, it was difficult for me to look at "tests' from Hashem in a different light. Baruch Hashem today I understand the wisdom of it all much better.

Anonymous, July 24, 2012 4:29 PM

I like the second comment . I was also instructed in a strict way in Poland. But I know I learnd a lot was a good student and went to get masters in mathematics. Now I am frum

(4) Anonymous, July 23, 2012 12:46 PM

I used this insight yesterday!

This was so helpful and timely. Several hours after hearing this message, my son presented me with a decision he was making to do something not exactly in the spirit of Torah. Instead of saying yes, no or otherwise expressing an opinion, I framed this as a test that he was being faced with. After thinking in that way, he passed the test, B'H!

(3) Mitch, July 22, 2012 2:35 PM


Thank you for this video. It helped me to better deal with current events.I enjoy your web site very much. Peace and blessings to all there that provide this great website!

(2) nechami, July 22, 2012 1:53 PM


thank you!!

(1) Anonymous, July 22, 2012 10:51 AM


THIS life is just a mid-term......


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