“Viktor Frankel could not understand how there were a few ‘angels’ [in the concentration camp who] gave away their last piece of bread to another… Doesn’t he want to survive…? He saw cruelty wherever he went. People disparaging, [Viktor] could understand, but to be kind and generous…? What is this all about?
He came to the following conclusion. … [These angles] offered sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man…except the freedom to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances… They chose to be kindhearted; they didn’t have to… The question is, how did they make this decision…?
[Viktor Frankel] concluded that for some people, life has meaning and purpose…,[which causes] them to behave differently. Life is never made unbearable by circumstances but only by a lack of meaning and purpose.
Whoever believes in God has an easier time understanding that life has meaning and purpose and that the creation of the world did not just come about without informing mankind what this is all about. God somehow revealed the purpose of life… [However] we can never know everything that there is to know…it is not possible for a human being while he is alive to know Hashem….
[Yet we can understand what is available to us though] special tools [that allow us to] see into the spiritual world…
[Through] the neshama, the soul…we can relate to the spiritual world [and] experience something completely different than what we [can access] with the physical body…
[Through] the Torah, a guide on how we should live our lives, we can experience a certain spiritual uplifting; we will be stimulated in a unique way; we will feel very different on Shabbat while observing it.”