Thursday, May 7, 2015

When Tragedy Strikes

In this week's parsha, Emor we read about the care of newborn animals. "When an ox, a sheep, or a goat are born, for seven days it should remain under its mother's care, from the eighth day and on it will be acceptable as a sacrifice a fire offering to Hashem."

Later in the same paragraph, the Torah commands us, "And you should not desecrate My Holy Name, that I may be sanctified amongst the children of Israel...".

What could possibly be the connection that brings these two laws together?

On a deeper level the newborn animals are symbolic of our emotions which our intellect, the mother, gives birth to. Rather than allow your emotions free reign, "seven days it should remain under its mother's care".  Allow your mind time to develop the emotion before expressing it.

This is especially important with regard to things which are out of our control. Things that come clearly and directly from Hashem. Especially when it is impossible to make sense of. Here we need to let our thought process the notion that Hashem knows what and why He does these things. Our job is to find a way to sanctify Hashem through these events, so that it changes us in a positive way.

This past Sunday, Hashem took Chaya Spalter, a very special young girl from this world. When I heard the news I felt broken. My first thought was, "My heart is broken, I just can't understand. I don't want to understand. Why Hashem do you continually break us?"

We became the Spalter's neighbors two years ago. I would see Chaya smiling despite her pain and suffering and it gave me strength. Her parents ability to be positive with all they were going through helped me stay positive.

Shabbos is difficult for me because I don't use my eye gaze computer, and being unable to move or speak it can get boring.

On Shabbos afternoon Chaya would take my daughters and other girls in our building. They would rehearse songs and create dances to go with them. She would bring them to my room and entertain me.

I am trying to find some meaning in this tragedy. If somehow we could learn to be more like Chaya, good, happy, strong, love for Hashem, positive, fearless, kind and beautiful within and without, perhaps then we can turn our pain into a sanctification of Hashem's name.

May we merit the coming of Moshiach very soon, and an end to this bitter exile.

Dedicated to the memory of Chaya Spalter.  May you "entertain" us again, very soon.

See also what Dina wrote about Chaya


  1. And as the Midrash says, "Hashem, what He Himself does, He commands the Yidden to do." So it is time that Hashem sanctify His Own Name, simply by healing Yosef Yitzchak ben Brachah completely and now! Let the world see vividly that G-d is with us!

  2. Yitzi - This is Rob "Moshe" Mor from this past Shabbos. My wife Yael and I came over with Shmuly Gurary. I want you to know that your strength and especially your smile has made a lasting impression on me.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to have met you and your loving wife. The two of you share a remarkably deep connection not only to Judaism but to each other that I hope my wife and I will blossom into some day.

    My prayers are with Chaya, your friend. She sounds like a special performer. After Shabbos last night, I had a show that went really well and I know that meeting you and your family inspired it. I was driving to the theater still thinking about you guys and the laughter we shared in your bedroom. Laughter is a gift from Hashem. Meeting you yesterday was also a gift.

    Good luck with the song -- if you need more singers, I'd love to help out.

    All my best,