http://revach.net/article.php?id=4813

Section: Daas Torah   Category: Pearls Of Wisdom
Rav Eliyahu Lopian - Is The Road To Pleasure Paved In Pain?

There is a great misconception in the world, says Rav Eliyahu Lopian. People think that Olam HaZeh is about pain and suffering. It is not so! Since Olam Haba is the ultimate pleasure and this world is about preparing for Olam HaZeh we can only prepare for pleasure with pleasure.

Clearly this doesn't mean worldly pleasure because one cannot find that in Olam HaBa. However explains Rav Lopian, if a person exhausts all his effort trying to steer clear of aveiros and trying to do mitzvos surely he will experience the heavenly pleasure of a closeness to the Shechina down on this world just like he will in Olam Haba.

The Mishna says in Pirkei Avos (4:16) the world is like a hallway before the palace. The hallway to the palace is not a dump with peeling walls and covered in dirt. Just as the palace is graced with incomparable beauty so to the hallway is beautiful albeit on a smaller scale.

Our job in this world is to prepare ourselves for the next world by refining our taste buds and our lifestyles to acquire a taste of enjoyment from doing mitzvos so that we are not lost and confused when we are zocheh to be taken to our eternal reward.