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Reaction to the Tragedy in Meron on Lag Ba’omer

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by Rabbi Manis Friedman

“Part of the mystery is that this tragedy happened in a very holy place, on a holy day, while people were doing a holy thing… It doesn’t seem right… How does such a thing happen?

 

…The [Lubavitcher] Rebbe [said that] human beings, by nature, should not be able to understand the Creator… And yet, G-d wants us to know Him, so he makes Himself knowable…through the Torah.

 

every soul that comes into this world is given a certain amount of years to live…. Forty days before conception, the angel announces how long this person is going to live... that is the reality, people are born for a certain amount of time… When the time comes, the circumstances can be varied. Sometimes better, some not so good.

These 45 souls that died celebrating Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s yahrzeit, who greeted them in Heaven? Obviously, Rabbi Shimon!

 

…the pain is still pain, and the mystery is still a mystery. But, I can imagine that there are people who passed away who are very jealous. ‘Why didn’t I pass away like that, under such holy circumstances?’

 

So let’s look at it for what it is and not get the impression that they died because they went to celebrate a holy event. And why those 45? There were 100,000 people there! Why them? I think we will find out [that] they had a special connection to Rabbi Shimon. And therefore, it was decreed when they were born that they would pass away on Lag B’Omer at the place where Rabbi Shimon was buried, celebrating his yahrzeit.

 

…The death is still tragic, but the circumstances are awesomely holy.”