The Silver Lining of Adversity

Teens will learn how to implement a Torah approach to growing from adversity.

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  1. Share a brief story about a challenge you went through - with or without the results.
  2. Then, ask for a raise of hands for those who experience adversity in their life on a regular basis.
  3. Then, share the following: “Over the course of this session, you will learn a Torah approach to dealing with and growing from adversity.”
  4. Hand out copies of the magazine that contains Torah sources about growing from adversity.


A) An Approach

  1. Ask the NCSYers to go around and share a category of adversity that people experience. Validate their answers.
  2. Ask them about Torah characters who have had struggles.
  3. Then, have the NCSYers vote to pick one of the 3 characters in the magazine and have the NCSYers read it. Split up the reading among the NCSYers.
  4. Ask them if they know people today who are as strong as the character they chose.
  5. Ask them if they can figure out the skills employed to accomplish what they accomplished. Use the page of Quotable Quotes, page 11, for some inspiration.
  6. When done with the dialogue, turn to page 12 and go through each of the steps. Show them that there is a dotted line by the margin to cut this page out for them to hold on to!

B) Why do we have challenges?

  1. Ask NCSYers if they have asked that question to themselves. Then, see Ramban on page 13.
  2. Then, show them that even though the Ramban writes that it is all about choices. Failure is normal. Last source on page 13.
  3. And in fact, the reward of greatness is not in the destination, but in the struggle. See Pachad Yitzchak on page 14.


  1. Find a story of struggle and success to close. (For example: Michael Jordan didn’t make his basketball team in high school, or Abraham Lincoln had many, many failed contests before becoming president.)
  2. Reiterate the goal above.