In light of our collective tragedies, here is something to think about, and something to do.
Good Morning Everybody,
As many of you know, the Dallas area community suffered a tragedy this past Shabbos, as the precious three month old baby of Kayla and Rabbi Binyamin Epstein unexpectedly passed away. Our hearts go out to them, their parents, and their entire family on the loss of baby Gavriel Simcha, may he rest in peace.
Rabbi Binyamin’s father, Rabbi Bentzi Epstein, has encouraged people to think about one small thing they could accept on themselves, one little area of self-improvement they could work on as a merit for the neshama, the soul, of Gavriel Simcha.
As I reflected on this, I couldn’t help but think about the Epstein family… They just suffered this devastating loss for which there are simply no words or explanations, yet their bitachon (trust in Hashem) is incredible. Earlier this week Rabbi Bentzi Epstein said, and I paraphrase: This is beyond us. This is all in Hashem’s hands. We don’t understand why this happened, but to the best of our ability we must accept that it is somehow for the ultimate good. It’s part of Hashem’s big plan that we can’t comprehend.
The Epsteins are accepting the unthinkable, something beyond human comprehension. So maybe we can let their remarkable grit and tremendous trust in Hashem inspire us to do something similar, but of course on a much, much, much smaller scale.
Our Rebuilder Group is about reducing baseless hatred towards our fellow Jews and increasing our love towards each other. One of the things that leads to hatred is simply not accepting other people’s opposing opinions, idiosyncrasies, and off-putting personality traits. It can bother us to no end. And as we become increasingly more impatient with them, we demand to know “WHY ARE THEY LIKE THIS?! WHY DO THEY HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT? WHY CAN’T THEY JUST BE ‘NORMAL’?” Our frustration can erupt into hatred because instead of accepting reality, we demand answers.
We of course can’t compare our attempt to be more accepting of other people with what the Epsteins are going through. There is no comparison. But their heroic trust in Hashem can inspire us…They can be our role models for accepting things we don’t understand.
After all, if they can work on accepting something that’s truly unfathomable, perhaps we, in our own small way, can work on being more accepting of our fellow Jews. And when we do, may Hashem bundle up all our collective efforts and count them as a giant merit to the precious, pure and holy soul of Gavriel Simcha, and all those who perished in Meron.
Have a good day, a meaningful Lag B’Omer, and a beautiful Shabbos everybody,
Keep on Building