Thursday, June 29, 2006

Baruch Dayan HaEmet

The teenager, Eliyahu Asheri, was killed shortly after he was kidnapped, and the IDF found his body last night buried in Ramallah.

I send my condolences to the family and hope G-d gives them comfort in this terrible time.

For those of you not familiar with Orthodox Judaism, it is customary to say when hearing of a death "Baruch Dayan HaEmet" which means Blessed is the True Judge (G-d). My understanding of this custom is to express, even in our sorrow, our belief that everything that happens is controlled from above, even tragedies.

There is also a very moving story told about Rabbi Aryeh Levin, a great tzaddik (righteous person) who was approached by a grieving widow who had prayed and said Psalms for her husband, and was heartbroken when her husband died anyway.

The widow asked Rav Aryeh Levin "What happened to all of my tears and the chapter after chapter of Psalms that I said?" He responded that G-d gathers every tear and cherishes it, and when a terrible decree is looming over the heads of the Jewish people, the tears come and wash away the decree and nullify it. The tears that we shed are a source of salvation.

18 Comments:

Blogger Jack's Shack said...

This is just terrible. Baruch Dayan Emet feels lacking, I hate to say that, but it does.

11:20 AM, June 29, 2006  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

Baruch Dayin HaEmet. I shed tears for all of us today. A child has been lost, and the world turns its head as we weep.
-OC

11:27 AM, June 29, 2006  
Anonymous Jeremayakovka said...

Try Cox and Forkum's latest cartoon.

6:48 PM, June 29, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

jack - yes, I know

oleh - agreed

jeremayakovka - that is a great cartoon!

7:40 PM, June 29, 2006  
Blogger bec said...

i just hope that we won't need to shed too many more tears before Hashem washes away the current decree.

12:04 AM, June 30, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

bec - amen to that

10:15 AM, June 30, 2006  
Blogger Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...

Dear WBM, ...

Though I do not necessarily disagree with Jack with respect to the arguable lack of feeling in "Baruch Dayan Emes" and furthermore, i'll gladly admit to having said "Oh Sh_t!" just the other day upon learning of the death of a dear friend's father, a gentleman of the first rank who was always "b'chol udum b'simcha!" and with whom over the last`ten years I spent many a splendid afternoon at the rabbi's tish.

The declaration of "Baruch Dayan Emes" is in substance and intent no different than the "yehay schme rabba"-it is an affirmation and a reaffirmation of our most fun-damental of beliefs precisely at a moment when we are most vulnerable to apostasy and apikorsis, when the death of a loved one leaves us in unfathomable pain, when our guard may be let down just enough to permit the spectre of cynicism and disbelief entry through the back door!

It is precisely the necessity of our sustained belief captured in those words that enables the first step taken on the road to recovery in the aftermath of the death of a love one, a recovery albeit never complete and always scarred to some extent!

May we always remain strong when the tragedies of life befall us ... as they will and may we never be so weakened as to forget that we are a light unto the nations especially in those moments when dark clouds appear overhead and the spark of life has been dimmed by misfortune!

I am ...

Very Sincerely yours,

Alan D. Busch

4:47 AM, July 03, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

Alan - what a beautiful and true sentiment. Thank you for this comment.

7:34 AM, July 03, 2006  
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