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Eikev"You shall remember the entire road on which Hashem, your G-d, led you these forty years in the Wilderness so as to afflict you, to test you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would observe His commandments or not" (Devarim 8:2).
Everyone experiences various afflictions on the road he or she is led through life. One of the basic tenets of Judaism is to believe, with no doubt whatsoever, that everything Hashem brings upon him is for his good. A Kabbalist once told me that if we were to realize how much Hashem loves us and that He brings us pain solely for our benefit, then, instead of crying and wailing we would be dancing in the streets!
During the seven weeks which follow Tish'ah B'Av, we are expected to reconsider the destruction of Jerusalem and all of the calamities which have befallen us, and see them in a light of consolation.
The Gemara (Gittin 57b) relates a tragic story of a righteous woman whose seven sons were killed by the cruel king who could not get them to serve his idols. After the youngest was executed, the mother too fell from the roof and died. Whereupon, a Heavenly Voice announced, "The mother of the children is happy" (Tehillim 113:9).
I once explained that there were probably people there who witnessed this heartbreaking scene and questioned Hashem's Justice. "Where was Hashem? How could He allow such cruelty to take place, etc. etc?"
Therefore the Voice resounded from Up High and explained that the reason we have questions is because we are here, in this mundane world. If we were only able to interview the mother herself, in Gan Eden, we would realize how happy she is - only as a result of what happened - and all of our questions would disappear instantly.
Voices from Heaven do not resound every day, but from time to time emissaries are sent from Above, in various forms, to strengthen our faith in the Almighty and His ways. The following amazing story is related in Aleynu Lishabeach by Harav Yitzchak Zilberstein shlita.
On the 22nd day of the sad month of Menachem Av, 5763, a suicide bomber blew himself up on Jerusalem bus number 2, as it made its way back from the Kosel HaMa'aravi. Many religious people were killed and many more were wounded in that tragic event. One of them was Chavah Rechnitzer, a 19 year old bride from Ramat Aharon in Bnei Brak.
Almost a year later, her parents heard that a family in Antwerp, Belgium, had received a poignant message from Chavah, although no one from either family had ever known each other nor had any contact with each other whatsoever. They tracked down the mother of the Belgian family by phone and were amazed to hear her tell them the following story.
"We recently experienced a catastrophe," the mother related to them. "My baby boy suddenly died, R.l. One of the days of the shiv'ah (the seven day mourning period), I went to sleep, deeply depressed. In spite of what all of the visitors had said to try to lessen the pain, I was simply inconsolable.
"That night, I had this most remarkable dream. I found myself on Bus # 2, on that terrible day, surrounded by people who were crying and screaming. Suddenly, a girl of about 19 years of age stood in front of me and said to me these very words: 'I am Chavah Rechnitzer, the bride who was killed in the terrorist attack on Bus # 2, almost a year ago. I want you to know that I and all of the children are here, Above, together. It is very good for us here and we lack nothing.'
"I then turned towards the figure which spoke with me and I said, 'True, I believe wholeheartedly that you are all Above and that it is good for you there; I have no doubt about it. But what about the parents who were left in this world? They are suffering terribly and are in great pain because they lost you!'
"She answered me, 'That is our only difficulty here. We cannot bear to see our parents' pain.'
"And then she added one more word of comfort. 'We cannot do anything. Be strong and strengthen one another in belief in Hashem, and know that this must be before Moshiach comes.'"
A true messenger from Heaven, sent to console us and help our wounds heal, by strengthening our absolute, unconditional belief in Hashem Who loves us more than we love ourselves. Those who share this belief will truly be happy in this world and in the World-to-Come.
Shema Yisrael Torah Network