Both literally & metaphorically, Rav Miller notes this parsha demonstrates how Hashem shows sinners the right way to go.
He also observes that people without Torah often don't experience much remorse.
Oh, some do—about the wrong kinds of things.
Some people feel remorse over something minor while showing apathy or confusion over a much bigger sin.
But it's true many do not.
As Rav Miller says, "They say 'Oops, I’m sorry. I didn’t intend to do it,' and that’s all."
I remember reading a book about a prescription-drug sales agent (a really eye-opening informative read, BTW) whose unrelenting sales practices harmed people who took the drug, even killing one (the mother of the prescribing doctor).
Her personal life also bustled with all sorts of issues.
In her youth, she hurt many young men with her former "love 'em & leave 'em" attitude, plus later her husband's children from a previous marriage could not find paternal refuge from their abusive mother because this agent/step-mother could not handle having them around, so they were denied their father too, and suffered greatly because of this.
She expressed regret, acknowledged that part of writing the book included making up for all her harmful sales, but her attitude really came off as Rav Miller described: "Oops, I didn't mean to, and that's all."
She achieved peace with herself via Eastern mysticism techniques, dismissed her dysfunctional behavior as the product of her dysfunctional upbringing, and that was that.
One talk show hosted a woman who, as part of a either a teen gang initiation or robbery, shot an unsuspecting victim straight in the face, leaving the unsuspecting victim with a glaringly deformed face (among other issues) for the rest of her life.
That same victim also appeared on the show.
When the victim very gently described the terrible fear & emotional trauma she suffered from the event, plus her numerous surgeries & permanent disfiguration, the former shooter kept tossing little shrugs of her shoulders while saying, "I'm really sorry, ma'am, but ya know, I found Jeezus & he forgives me. So I'm sorry for having done that, but Jeezus forgives me & that's what matters most."
(Or something like that.)
The former shooter refused to give her victim the heartfelt apology & closure the victim needed.
So yeah, if you don't have Torah, you end up lacking genuine remorse for the the damage done.
(And behavior that could lead to tragedy.)
Don't take shortcuts with your fellow's safety!
Don't get "holy" on the cheshbon of the safety of someone else—not your children, your students, no one.
What are Yissurim & What is the Right Way to View Them?
He explain how we should view the tragedies & violations happening around the world—they're a lesson for us.
Our yissurim (suffering) stand as lessons for us too—including minor yissurim.
How should we view yissurim? Here's Rav Miller on page 11:
We’re talking about intelligent servants of Hashem who know that “Hashem is yoreh chatoim, He shows us the way in life,” and they react to big signs.
The question is how far is a man expected to go?
How far should he go in interpreting the events of his life as messages from Hakodosh Boruch Hu?
Let’s say a man ordered a new jacket from a tailor and finally the day comes when it’s ready.
And so he puts it on for the first time and something bothers him. He’s not sure what – it keeps him warm, it fits him, the color is right – but it doesn’t satisfy him.
That minimal dissatisfaction, says Rabbi Elazar, is already called yissurim; it’s a message mishomayim.
Does it have to be such a big misfortune like that to be called yissurim? After all a garment, you don’t make it every day; to get a new jacket is a special occasion and if it didn’t please him, that can’t be the smallest signpost that Hashem will show a person.
Anybody would take that as a message!
You hear that?!
He says that anybody would notice that; even a dumbbell has to react to that.
Rava Ze’ira says a bigger chiddush – even smaller inconveniences are messages from Heaven.
If a person wanted his wine mixed with warm water and by error they mixed it with cold water, that’s called a misfortune.
It’s a more common occurrence – your tea is not exactly the way you expected.
That man has to know that he’s being guided on a certain path by Hashem.
He says that sometimes a person is putting on his undershirt and he happens to put it on inside out; now he’s going to have to go through the trouble of taking it off and putting it on again.
Such an inconvenience should be considered a message from Hashem.
If he put his hand in his pocket to take out a quarter and out came a nickel, that’s a misfortune.
He has both in his pocket, he’ll be able to reach in now again and get the right coin, but the wrong one came out the first time; that’s suffering, it’s a form of yissurim.
(Again, along the lines of the previous post, this kind of attitude wouldn't generally come up in therapy, either because you wouldn't know discuss it or your therapist wouldn't know the right approach to dealing with these little yissurim. But some frum therapists would be able to do this with you.)
And Rav Miller states the right attitude (page 12):
It’s like Hashem has spoken with a voice into his ear, “I’m the One who made your tea a bit too hot. I’m the One who pulled a nickel out of your pocket instead of the quarter you wanted. And it’s because I’m a moreh derech; I want to teach you which path to take in life.”
And He expects you to listen – He expects a response.
Specific Examples of Minor Inconveniences & Their Interpretations
Fumbled your keys until they fell on the floor? Appreciate your hands & how well they usually work!
A speck of dust in your eye? Appreciate your eyes & all their mechanisms!
Find a knot in your shoestring? Appreciate all the times you DIDN'T suffer an annoying knot and...
...contemplate whether this might be Hashem's loving hint at a knot in your middot?
Investigating Hashem's messages in life's minor inconveniences definitely helps a person in unique ways.
(For more clarity & help with this, please see the Practical tip on page 15.)