The ground opened up under Klal Yisroel with a display of Midas Hadin- Heavenly judgement that shakes us to the core. Our hearts are with the families of the ones killed and missing.
How could it happen? And by R Shimon Bar Yochai?
If you had those questions, you are not alone.
2,000 years ago, as Rebbe Akiva was being tortured to death, the malochim- the angels asked Hashem the very same question.
“How could it happen? And to Rebbe Akiva?!”
And Hashem answered them that you will never be able to understand my ways. Hashem said, “I would have to dismantle this world, all the way back to the 6 days of creation, for you to understand why tragedy happens in this world.”
But it is precisely at these times of great darkness, when our Emunah is tested and we pass the test, that’s when we light up the world with our belief in Hashem, the purpose of why we are here! It is b’davka in tragedy that our Emunah shines the brightest.
And that’s one of the reasons we cover our eyes when we say Shema Yisroel.
Shema Yisroel, Hear Klal Yisroel:
Hashem – the name of Hashem, that represents midas harachamim, Hashem treating us with mercy
Elokeinu – the next word, the name of Hashem that represents midas hadin, Hashem treating us with justice
Hashem Echad – it’s all one Hashem!
Hashem who allowed the meron tragedy, is the same Hashem who wakes up 7 billion people every morning.
That moves the beautiful baby to giggle at his mother.
That makes the miracles of our eyes work flawlessly.
That holds that giant fireball, called the sun, in it’s exact orbit so as not to scorch or freeze us here on earth.
We cover our eyes to tell Hashem; “We, with our flesh and blood minds and eyes that only see 120 years at a time, we are too small to understand your ways, Hashem. All we can do is say Hashem Echad – we have unshakeable faith that one day we will understand how, as impossible as it is to imagine, even in Meron – the great saying of Rebbe Akiva applies:
Kol ma d’avid Rachmana l’tav avid – Everything Hashem does is for the good!
But what are we supposed to think now, what are we supposed to feel?
What we need to realize is that thinking is done in our minds and feeling is done in our hearts. But the mind and the heart are in 2 different places.
Our hearts have taka been torn apart, but Emunah lives in our minds. And our Emunah in Hashem is unshakeable!
And so the avoda of today post-Meron, is to simply cover our tear-stained eyes with our hand and say,
Shema Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad.
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