Thursday, July 14, 2011

Garden of Emunah (R' Shalom Arush)

I was going to make an effort to stop posting about the recent tragedy in Brooklyn, but I know that many people are still asking Why? and How can we understand such a thing?

In our women's chaburah last year in R, we came upon a beautiful piece that illustrates that there are so many factors beyond us and our understanding. My mother recently mentioned how she would like to find it and read it again. The very next day, my SIL sent it to me in my email. It's worth sharing here. It's a tremendously deep level of emunah (faith and trust), but at least it may give us some comfort.

A special thank you to my mother for reminding me of this story and to AD who's post spurred the thought. And of course to my wonderful SIL for sharing.

From Garden of Emunah by R. Shalom Arush:

"Here is a story about a tragedy that jolted the very foundation of an entire Jewish community's emuna in Hashem A beautiful young lady- the daughter of one of the community's most prestegious and respected families married a righteous merchant, a man of charity and compassion.  The early years of their marriage were blessed with happiness, abundance, and children.  The modest wife became a wonderful mother, utalizing every free minute from her busy schedual to recite Tehilim or care for the community's poor and underpriviledged.  The husband ...never failed to fulfill a strict daily quota of prayer and Torah Study...   Suddenly disaster struck.  Their home, a bright beacon of charity, good deeds and loving kindness- became the scene of agony.  A drunken soldier viciously abused, mutilated and murdered the couples 3 year old son.  The entire community was appalled.  Thousands joined in mourning...How could Hashem do something so horrendous?...Shortly thereafter tragedy struck again and therightous merchant fell ill, and died....the tears of his thirty five year old widow tore at the communitiy's already perplexed and agonized heart."  A few years passed the widow resolved to overcome her sorrow.  That night her husband came to her in a dream.  In it she asked why their son had to die in such a grusome and horrifying way.  "Know,"  said her husband that the Heavenly Court had decreed - in light of the dire sins between man andfellow man in our town, that tall of our towns inhabitents wereto be destroyed in a catastrophic pogrom.  The rightous soul of our little one volunteered to die a terrible death as an attonement for the entire town.  He became a holy martyr and sanctified himself as a public sacrifice.  No one is allowed to reach his lofty abode except for me, since I was his father.  When your time comes, you, his mother, will also be allowed.  You cant imagine the bliss of the Divine light that surrounds our son."  ...The widow awakened and she realized that her questions, as well as the rest of the towns questions,were needless.  If the Torah teaches us that Hashem is Righteous and Just, then there is no need to wonder why Hashem does what He does."

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