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Posts Tagged ‘Klal Yisrael’

A Place To Call Home

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Coming to Kever Rachel one cannot help but recall the traditional domed structure that once stood as a humble memorial to the greatest of women. Unfortunately a fortress like edifice of towering large concrete slabs has now replaced that familiar picture. It was here, at this holy site, that I first met Evelyn Haies, an American mother, grandmother, and globetrotter.

Evelyn spends the better part of each year in Israel working to improve the site. In fact, as soon as we met she invited me to attend a shiur she had arranged in the adjacent previously-owned Arab home.

But first I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what possessed an American mother of five, and grandmother, to leave her family in the U.S. to come to Israel and devote so much time to Kever Rachel.

In lieu of answering, she beckoned, smiling broadly. I followed her into the adjacent structure (the only other building in the complex) where she pointed to a bullet hole in the glass of the window on the second floor. “Arab sniper fire,” she explains.

“I bought this house a number of years ago, in an attempt to increase awareness of the importance of this site, to encourage people to visit, and to learn more about Rachel herself.” She points out the pictures her granddaughter had drawn to hang on the wall.

In a large room on the first floor there is a learning session in progress. A group of avreichim are poring over their sefarim.

In an entirely separate room a shiur for women is about to take place.

“And so what’s a grandmother like you doing here?” I asked, still wondering what it was that first triggered her interest.

And Evelyn, who for years has worked as literature teacher and has published a very popular songbook, took the plunge the year the Twins Towers came down.

“I was part of a group of women from Brooklyn who were looking for ways to help Klal Yisrael, especially our brethren in Israel. We wanted to prove our connection to the land and to our people. We met monthly and I recall one meeting in which we decided to adopt a sister city. Ariel was on our list, as were other cities. And then I had this sudden drive to adopt Kever Rachel. I took the floor and threw my suggestion out to the ladies.

“They loved it and agreed immediately.

“The year was 1995 when the die was cast; thus began my personal lifelong connection with Rachel Imeinu.

“So while I had had this brainwave I wasn’t quite sure how to actualize it. Together we decided that the first way to proceed was to raise public awareness of who Rachel actually was, and her relevance today. To do this we wanted people to research all the relevant sources in Tanach. Thus began the Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation.

“We began with the children first, going around to the Jewish girl schools in Brooklyn and advertising a writing competition on the subject of Rachel Imeinu. The best compositions would receive cash prizes.

“The contest was a massive hit. My mailbox was jammed with hundreds of stories; the creativity was simple astonishing and the feedback overwhelming. Teachers and principals offered their thanks and the girls themselves appreciated their new awareness and connection to Rachel.”

Later that year, Evelyn received an excited phone call from a woman who had decided that in honor of her granddaughter’s bas mitzvah the two of them were going to go to Israel and visit the holy sites, especially Kever Rachel.

Evelyn thought that this was a great idea and decided that she too would do the same.

“But I wanted to do more and more and I didn’t know what or how. So I bought a lottery ticket,” Evelyn laughs heartily. “And guess what? I won!”

Evelyn was the lucky winner of $26,000, which she used to finance the writing of a Sefer Torah for the Kever Rachel complex.

The day Evelyn approached a sofer and commissioned him to write the Sefer Torah was one of the most exciting ever. And when it was finally completed her excitement knew no bounds.

The Sefer Torah merited a double “send off” – one in Brooklyn and another in Israel. The U.S. one was scheduled for a rainy day during the week of Parshas Lech Lecha. Amazingly the rain held off while the dancing and singing crowds escorted the Torah to the shul; the minute it was indoors the rain fell once again. Evelyn’s eyes light up at the memory.

Mothers, Fathers, And The Curse Of Family Breakdowns

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

In my most recent column I wrote about ways of improving family relationships, and raising children who have derech eretz and respect for their parents. I will continue on that same theme here.

If the Jewish home is to survive as it did throughout the centuries, if it is to remain immune to the degeneracy and immorality of the outside world, it must become a bastion of Torah, where mothers and fathers stand guard day and night and do not allow messengers of evil to enter – messengers who have the capacity to bring down the walls and set the entire house aflame.

But here comes the tricky part. As in all things, we cannot make generalizations. There are always exceptions to the rule, and, sadly, in these types of situations the anomalies are even more striking. We see homes that, outwardly at least, house families committed to Torah and yet are torn by strife and acrimony. Despite the glow of the Shabbos lights, despite family members’ adherence to the laws of kashrut and shmiras Shabbos, if you are close enough you can hear loud, angry voices spewing vile words – words that build walls of hatred and shut the gates of the heart.

How can that be? you ask. Where is the Torah? Where is the protective wall that should have shielded the house from the evils of the street?

My husband, Rabbi Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, would explain it all through a story:

A soap manufacturer came to a rabbi and said, “Rabbi, your Torah teachings are of no avail. I see so many out there who claim to be observant, but they are mean and miserable.”

The rabbi invited him to take a stroll in the park. He took him to the children’s playground and said, “Your soap is useless. It is of no avail. Look at those children – they are all dirty, covered with sand and mud!”

“What are you talking about?” the soap manufacturer retorted indignantly. “My soap is perfect, but these kids have been playing in the dirt and have yet to use it.”

“That’s exactly right.” the rabbi responded. “Our Torah is perfect, but there are many out there playing in the dirt and they have yet to use the powerful, cleansing force of our Torah!”

This story perfectly illustrates the fact that there are people who go through the motions of observance but it is something else again for them to allow the Torah to mold their lives and, yes, cleanse them.

The great sage of Mussar, Rabbi Yisroel Salanter, taught that for some people it is easier to learn an entire tractate of Talmud than to change even one character trait. Bad middos that are allowed to fester soon become ingrained and almost impossible to extricate. Too often, despite intense therapy and admonishment, these traits remain unchanged. For example, if someone is a ba’al ka’as – has an uncontrollable temper – he will succumb to that negative character trait despite all his promises to change. His words are empty, without substance. Perhaps for a few days he will appear to be different, but it is only an appearance, and in no time at all he will be back to his old ways. So it is that an angry secular person may become a shomer Shabbos angry person, and this holds true for all other character aberrations.

There is a well-known story of a cat that is trained to walk on its hind legs holding a tray with its front paws. One day, it sees some mice – and in no time at all it is chasing the mice on all fours. The lesson is obvious. Parents who wish to build solid families and enjoy loving relationships with their children must become living role models of the Torah and mitzvot that they preach.

The Shabbos candles are symbols of peace, but if those symbols are to have meaning they must be reflected in the words and actions of those who are living in that house. To make this change in our homes, to turn ourselves over and become real Torah people, is not an option but a life and death priority. The very lives of our families are at stake.

Ki Seitzei – Kiddush Clubs Beware!

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

You will not have much time this week for your gathering – the haftorah is very short, only ten pesukim.

(Let me be clear. I most certainly do not support Kiddush Clubs for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the what should be obvious lowliness of leaving a shul minyan to go and have a whiskey party, and not being able to wait until after davening. Despite efforts to combat these gatherings, I know they still exist and figured I would warn “the guys” about the brevity of this week’s haftorah.)

Short, yes, but very sweet. HaKadosh Baruch Hu has sweet things to tell us about the rebuilding of Yerushalayim after the destruction and exile.

One message that immediately jumps out at us comes from the third and fourth pesukim whose phrases we should all recognize.

Ki yamin u’smol tifrotzi. . .al tiri, ki lo seivoshi ve’al sikalmi – for you will spread out to the right and to the left. . .do not fear, for you will no longer feel embarrassed nor humiliated.” (Yeshaya 54:3-4)

I hope you know where in the davening these phrases are mentioned. Correct! They are in the Lecha Dodi we sing on Friday night at Kabbalas Shabbos forming the theme of two stanzas:

Lo sivohsi velo sikalmi mah tishotchachi umahtsehemi, bach yechesu aniyei ami vinivnisah ir al tilah – Do not be embarrassed, do not be ashamed! Why be dejected? Why moan? All My suffering people will find comfort in you and a city will be rebuilt upon the hill!”

Yamin u’smol tifrotzi ve’es Hashem ta’aritzi, al yad ish ben partzi, venismecha venagila—to the right and left you will spread out and you will praise Hashem. Through the hand of the descendant of Peretz (Moshiach), you will then be joyous and cheerful.”

Thus, the Navi Yeshaya fulfills the role of comforter, telling us of the amazing times we will yet experience with redemption and the coming of Moshiach. This is why this section of Navi was chosen by Chazal to be one of the “sheva d’nechamta,” one of the seven haftoros after Tisha B’Av whose design is to console us over the destruction of Yerushalayim and the Beis HaMikdash.

So, we encounter these themes in the haftorah this week, but we also meet them during each Kabbolas Shabbos, which leads us to the following question: What in the world do these themes have to do with Shabbos? Why are we singing about Yerushalayim in Lecha Dodi?

In fact, analyze this.

Did you ever wonder why it is that the majority of the stanzas in Lecha Dodi do not discuss Shabbos at all? The first two stanzas are directed toward Shabbos but, beginning with the third stanza of “Mikdash Melech” and continuing all the way to “Bo’ee BaShalom”, Shabbos is not the theme; rather, the destruction of Yerushalayim and the hope of its renewal and rebirth with Moshiach is the topic. Why?

In addition, we know that we are not supposed to mention anything on Shabbos that could bring feelings of sadness. Why then do we sing about the destruction of Yerushalayim in the middle of Lecha Dodi? In fact, for this very reason, amazingly, there are some Sefardic siddurim that do not list the stanzas in Lecha Dodi that bring up the destruction of Yerushalayim (Asifas Gershon Shabbos, page 194). Why then is this appropriate when strictly speaking, it would appear to be improper to bring up the tragedy of the Churban Bais HaMikdash at this juncture on Shabbos? How do we explain most of Klal Yisrael reciting these stanzas?

The Vilna Gaon in his commentary on the Siddur explains the following famous midrash:

“Shabbos came before the Ribbono Shel Olam and complained, ‘Each day of the week has a mate (ben zug). But I have no mate!’ Hashem replied, ‘Klal Yisrael will be your ben zug!’”

What exactly does this Midrash mean? How does each day of the week have a mate? And how is Klal Yisrael the mate of Shabbos?

Answers the Gra, on Sunday, light was created, but the creation of light only became complete on Wednesday, when the sun, moon, and stars were formed. Hence, Sunday is a ben zug with Wednesday. On Monday, the waters above and below were separated by the rakiah, firmament, but the creation of water was only completed when Hashem created the fish on Thursday and placed them in the waters below. Thus, Monday’s ben zug is Thursday. On Tuesday, Hashem separated the sea from the dry land. This was concluded on Friday when Hashem made the animals and man to inhabit the land. Tuesday partners with Friday. Shabbos was indeed alone, without a ben zug, until the Ribbono Shel Olam made Klal Yisrael the partner of Shabbos. But how is Klal Yisrael the mate of Shabbos?

Title: The Lion Cub of Prague: Thought, Kabbala, Hashkafa from Gur Aryeh – The Maharal of Prague

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Title: The Lion Cub of Prague: Thought, Kabbala, Hashkafa from Gur Aryeh – The Maharal of Prague
Author: Dr. Moshe David Kuhr
Reviewed by Yitzchak A. Breitowitz

Rabbi Yehuda Loewe of Prague, known as Maharal, was one of the greatest lights that G-d has given to the Jewish people. Halachic authority and active communal leader, linguist and grammarian, philosopher and mystic, master of the totality of rabbinic literature and conversant in the arts and sciences as well, Maharal revealed new depths to the words of Chazal and uncovered layers of meaning that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

In a very real way, he cracked the code to the symbolic language of agada and midrash and exposed the powerful incontestable inner truths behind the stories and parables. Maharal wrote many works and all of them are devoted to uncovering the inner world of Chazal but, for many, Gur Arye – his masterful commentary on Rashi’s biblical commentary – might be the best place to start.

As the first of his works, it contains all the basic ideas of his philosophy in a relatively concise and accessible form and links them to the biblical text and Rashi’s comments. Because of this linkage, Gur Arye passages tend to be shorter and more easily digestible than some of Maharal’s other writings Moreover, because of its thematic connections with the Torah text, Gur Arye is not exclusively philosophical or mystical but is rich in grammatical and halachic analysis as well, appealing to readers of diverse interests and talents.

In many ways, Gur Arye is an ideal introduction to the rich tapestry of Maharal’s thought. Nevertheless, as is the case for all Maharal’s writings, the thoughts are deep, the language is concise (albeit vivid and colorful) and the vocabulary presupposes basic familiarity with not only rabbinic literature but with the esoterica of Kabbala and the technical vocabulary of medieval religious philosophy.

As such, for many readers Gur Arye is simply a closed book. We all hear about it and admire it as a classic, but few of us ever open it up to actually study it.

Dr. Moshe Kuhr, a faithful and conscientious student of Maharal’s writings for more than 15 years, has performed a major service to Klal Yisrael in making this treasure accessible. He has carefully selected passages from the Gur Arye that are suitable for the general reader and that are broadly representative of central themes in Maharal’s thought; translated them into modern readable English; provided annotations, sources and cross-references to other writings of Maharal; and added illuminating comments, questions and observations of his own set off in a distinct typeface.

The translation is flowing and felicitous; the source annotations and references are extremely helpful for further in-depth study; and Kuhr’s comments are penetrating and thoughtful. All of us owe Dr. Kuhr a debt of gratitude for a labor of love extending almost two decades of assiduous study.

An Appreciation: Remembering HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, A Torah Giant, On His Shloshim

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

It’s hard to believe that for the past 30 days we have been living in a world without HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, zt”l, who died at the age of 102. We may never realize the effect his longevity had on our generation. Reb Elyashiv was a true gaon and masmid beyond most people’s comprehension. Although many could not relate to his advanced levels of learning or hasmada, he represented the essence of a true Torah giant. Many revered him as the greatest posek of the generation. For years Klal Yisrael had a leader whom they relied on for guidance and halachic issues. Scores of rabbanim from around the world would flock to hear his rulings. His humble abode was the attraction of thousands who would come merely to witness his greatness or receive his berachos.

It is crucial that we recall some of Reb Elyashiv’s attributes lest we forget, as we are not accustomed to the magnitude of his greatness.

Rabbi Elyashiv, born in 1910, was an only child born to parents after 17 barren years in their marriage. At the age of 12 his family moved to Eretz Yisrael and with the advice of the Chofetz Chaim changed their last name from Erener to Elyashiv, his mother’s maiden name, to aid them in attaining visas. At a young age he was recognized as a master in Talmud study. Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook suggested a shidduch for him with Sheina Chaya Levine, one of the daughters of Rav Aryeh Levine, the tzaddik of Yerushalayim. The shidduch materialized and Rav Kook was mesader kiddushin at their wedding.

Rabbi Elyashiv accepted the position of rav of Ramle for a short while. He was thereafter appointed a Rabbinic Court judge on the Beit Din Hagadol of the Chief Rabbinate. Rabbi Yitzchak Herzog, the chief rabbi of Israel, excused him from court examinations and other protocol, saying that they were unnecessary for someone of his caliber. In 1970 he resigned from that post and did not hold any official positions for the remainder of his life. He knew no greater pleasure than to sit and learn Gemara alone while singing his trademark melody.

Rabbi Elazar Menachem Man Shach urged Reb Elyashiv to join the Degel HaTorah political party. After Rabbi Shach’s passing in 2001 Rabbi Elyashiv became the spiritual leader of the party. His influence was felt in many aspects of Israeli politics.

His daily schedule began at around 2 or 3 a.m., his day filled with many hours of intense learning. One of Rabbi Elyashiv’s grandsons noticed that his grandfather – in his 90s – arose half an hour early one morning. When he inquired as to why, Rabbi Elyashiv responded that on the previous day he had met with a government minister for half an hour – and now he was making up for that lost time from learning.

Rabbi Elyashiv always thought in terms of halacha. Upon hearing the news that a great-grandson was born he immediately said, “kosher l’eidus – fit for testimony.” (Sons and grandsons are unfit to testify or have testimony said about them, as they are considered related regarding issues of testimony.)

Rabbi Elyashiv ruled on many of the major halachic quandaries of the modern world. Here are some: Although he did not write his rulings, many were recorded by his students in Kovetz Teshuvos and Ashrei Ha’ish. Many people stopped smoking on Yom Tov after Rabbi Elyashiv ruled that since most people do not smoke, more people are forbidden to do so.

Rabbi Elyashiv approved ArtScroll’s English translation of the Gemara. Without his approval the project may not have ever developed into the amazing work that it has become – and have the international impact it has today. Rabbi Elyashiv advised bnei Torah to adhere to the moment of silence held on Israel’s Yom Hazikaron. After noticing several software piracy abuses, Microsoft joined those who asked Rabbi Elyashiv for a halachic ruling on this matter. After his prohibition a significant reduction in software piracy was noticed.

Rabbi Efraim Holtzberg, a close talmid of Reb Elyashiv, related a story of a young father donning a kippah serugah who asked Reb Elyashiv about 20 years ago to accept the honor of being the sandik (godfather) for his two baby boys. Reb Elyashiv answered that he had to attend the bris of one of his great-grandsons on that very day and was therefore unable to attend. The father pleaded with him. “Rebbe, don’t you remember me? Seven months ago I came to seek your guidance regarding my wife, who was pregnant with triplets. The doctors told us that we must kill one of them in order to save the other two. You told me with great encouragement that we should not kill any of them. I have come to you now because we just had two healthy boys and one girl and I want you to be the boys’ sandik.” Upon hearing this Reb Elyashiv agreed to be the sandik and made arrangements to be at both brissim.

Tens Of Thousands Celebrate Historic Siyum HaShas

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Neither the threat of rain nor heavy traffic prevented the huge throng of enthusiastic participants from attending the 12th Siyum HaShas last Wednesday, August 1 at MetLife Stadium. The event, which attracted more than 90,000 people, was in celebration of the conclusion of the seven-and-a-half year learning cycle of the Babylonian Talmud.

It was 36-year-old Rabbi Meir Shapiro who introduced the learning of Daf Yomi at the first Knessia Gedolah two weeks before Rosh Hashanah 5684 (1923). The Daf Yomi program requires one to learn one daf (a two-sided page) of the Talmud’s 2,711 pages each day.

Several speakers heaped accolades on Daf Yomi teachers and students alike, the former for preparing their sessions thoroughly and the latter for balancing their busy schedules to ensure early morning or late night learning. Wives of both teachers and students were commended for supporting their husbands’ dedication in this Torah-learning challenge.

Siyum HaShas Chairman Elly Kleinman spoke about Rabbi Shapiro’s vision – uniting Klal Yisrael through the learning of Torah. Rabbi Shapiro visualized a scenario whereby a traveler would enter a shul in another village and find fellow Jews studying the same Talmud page that he was learning. Rabbi Shapiro’s goal has become reality as thousands of Jews from diverse backgrounds and various locations throughout the world learn the same page of Gemara daily. This unity of purpose and achievement was on display at MetLife Stadium, as Jews from all walks of life joined together to partake in the Siyum HaShas.

Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz of Los Angeles, the evening’s MC, mentioned the August 1 date of this Torah-learning accomplishment – 76 years to the day after Adolf Hitler addressed tens of thousands of people at the 1936 Olympics. Rabbi Rechnitz spoke of the sweet revenge the Jewish people could feel on this night with their answer – learning Torah – to Hitler’s barbarism.

The Novominsker Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, said that it is Torah that defines the Jewish people as a nation, adding that Torah is the only ingredient that can explain our existence throughout the generations while the world’s evil superpowers have perished over time.

Rabbi Yissocher Frand
(Photo courtesy of Menachem Adelman/Agudath Israel)

Noted author Rabbi Yissocher Frand, the senior lecturer at Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, urged Jews to formulate a plan that aims higher in their Torah study. He pointed to American-born Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt”l, who despite the handicap of Parkinson’s disease, grew to become a gadol b’Yisrael. Rabbi Finkel never let his debilitating illness interfere with running the largest yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Frand said that this should be a reminder that it is never too hard to accomplish great things in life, and what seems to be out of one’s reach is in fact in the person’s grasp.

Rabbi Yitzchok Scheiner, rosh yeshiva of Kaminetz Yeshiva in Jerusalem, withstood his advanced age of 90 to make the trip. Impressed with Rabbi Frand’s moving words, Rabbi Scheiner substituted his planned message by taking up Rabbi Frand’s suggestion to devise a plan of action to aim higher in Torah study. Rabbi Scheiner’s two-fold plan was a call for those who have yet to learn Daf Yomi to begin now, and that everyone should learn the Chofetz Chaim’s Sefer Shemiras Halashon. He also spoke briefly about his rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, whose recent passing is still fresh in our minds.

Rabbi Yitzchok Scheiner
(Photo courtesy of Menachem Adelman/Agudath Israel)

For his part, Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, a former Ashkenazic chief rabbi of Israel, stressed the importance of chazarah, reviewing what one has learned. Rabbi Lau emphasized that one who learns 100 times cannot be compared to one who has learned 101 times.

Yechiel Eisenstadt, Shrage Goldschmidt and Moshe Hass spearheaded the groundbreaking Masmidei Hasiyum youth program, whereby thousands of elementary and junior high school boys have completed one-and-a-half million mishnayos in memory of the same number of children murdered in the Holocaust, and six million lines of Gemara in memory of the six million martyrs of the Holocaust.

Comfort And Consolation

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

We’ve all seen the ads in the papers.

Shabbos Nachamu is one of the biggest getaway weekends of the entire “frum” summer. There has long been a long-standing American tradition for people to go up to the mountains for Shabbos Nachamu.

This phenomenon makes the haftorah of parshas VaEschanan, probably the most famous haftorah of the entire year (though Shabbos Shuva comes in at a close second) with its well-known opening verse from Yeshayah (chapter 40), where Hashem instructs the Navi to “Nachamu, Nachamu Ami,” go and console, console, my nation.

So, Nachamu is one haftorah with which we are all familiar. We know that when Tisha B’Av and the entire Three Weeks mourning period is over we are to take a breather, relax a little, and get comfort.

But are we familiar with the details of the messages which the Navi wishes to convey about what true comfort, true nechama, is?

Yeshaya describes the ultimate power of Hashem and how future events will be happier for the Jewish people. This is our comfort.

Here’s a small sampling of the theme of the perek:

“Behold, the Lord, Hashem will come as a Mighty One, and His arm will rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His reparation before Him.” (40:10)

“Lift up your eyes on high, and see, who has created these? He that brings out their hosts by number, He calls them all by name; by the greatness of His might, and for that He is strong in power, not one fails [to be called by Him – Rashi] (40:26)

But true consolation for tragedy can never come in this world.

Rav Tzadok HaKohen (Tzidkas HaTzadik, os 170) explains that true consolation only occurs when the problem and suffering one experiences is shown to have never really been a tragedy. Rav Tzadok writes that this is what Dovid HaMelech means when he says in Tehillim, “Min hameitzar karasi Kah, anoni b’merchav kah.” I call out to Hashem from pain, but he answers me by widening my experiences and my view. I see that my problem was not a problem after all.

A friend of mine who lost his father at a young age to a debilitating disease once told me something unbelievable, a testament to my friend’s bitachon in Hashem. He said, “What kept me going during shiva and what keeps me going now? I keep telling myself that now my father, in Shamayim, knows why the illness happened, and what’s more, he’s happy it happened.”

When will we, in this world, experience a true nechama for all the tragedies that have taken place during Klal Yisrael’s history? When we will see, as Rav Tzadok explained, that all of our problems were never really problems at all? The Tzelach tells us when, based on Pesachim 50a.

The Gemara there says that in this world upon hearing good news, besuros tovos, we say the bracha of hatov v’hameitiv, whereas upon hearing bad news, we say the bracha of Dayan ha’emes. L’asid lavoh, in future times, says the Gemara, whether hearing good news or tragic news, we will only say one bracha: that of hatov v’hameitiv. Asks the Tzelach, in future times, when Moshiach comes, there won’t be any tragedies. What then does the Gemara mean that we will make hatov v’hameitiv on the tragic events?

The Tzelach (a commentary on Shas written by the Noda B’Yehuda) explains that the tragic events the Gemara is referring to are not ones which will take place during the days of Moshiach. Rather, we are discussing the tragedies that have occurred throughout world history. When Moshiach comes, we are going to be shown that all of the events that we saw as tragic were really all for the good. It will become clear to us that all of the besuros ra’os were actually besuros tovos. This will be the true nechama.

Presently, we make a bracha of Dayan ha’emes upon tragedies. At least, we have faith and we know there is a bracha, some blessing, some ultimate goodness involved. But in the future, it will become apparent. We will see the unity between Hashem’s din and rachamim, justice and mercy.

This is why we conclude the HaMakom tefila/bracha to mourners with b’soch she’ar aveilei Tziyon V’Yerushalayim. When will Hashem offer all mourners the true consolation and show them that all was for the best? When Moshiach comes, when all of Klal Yisrael is comforted with the return of the Beis HaMikdash—this is when all things and events will be understood, b’soch she’ar aveilei Tziyon V’Yerushalayim.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/comfort-and-consolation/2012/08/03/

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