They shall not make bald patches on their heads, nor shall they shave the edge of their beard, nor shall they make cuts in their flesh (Vayikra 21:5)
This week’s parsha discusses that we should not overly mourn for someone who passes away. To explain why we shouldn’t overly mourn, let me share with you something that happened last week.
Last week on Monday was an extremely sad day for the South Florida Jewish community. On Sunday night, a twelve year old girl who went to our local Bais Yaakov school was crossing the street and was hit by a car. Unfortunately, she did not survive. How could something like this happen? She was an innocent young girl in the sixth grade. How are we to understand this?
My Rabbi said the following story. A doctor decided to go out with his wife to a three hour show. As they were entering, the doctor’s cell phone went off. There was an emergency he needed to take care of. He told his wife to go inside and save him a seat, and he would be back as soon as he could. He left and returned an hour later. He sat with his wife and watched the show for about an hour before his cell phone went off again. He ran out to take care of the emergency, and he arrived back just as the show ended. As the doctor and his wife were walking out of the theater, the doctor mentioned how terrible the show was. It made absolutely no sense at all.
His wife disagreed. She told her husband that the only reason he felt this way was because he missed most of the show. He missed the beginning. He missed the ending. His wife then explained these parts to her husband and the doctor understood the show in a different light.
This world has been around for a few thousand years. We were not here at the beginning. The end of the world has not happened yet. We are only viewing the middle of the show. Of course, we cannot understand why certain people, like twelve year old girls, pass away. There is no reason that we can possibly understand. But what we must realize is that Hashem has His reason and if we saw the world from His perspective, we would totally understand it. It is all for the good.
The reason we are not allowed to overly mourn is because the person’s death is actually a good thing. Hashem has a reason for doing it.
It should be pointed out that we are still required to mourn though. Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon explains the reason for this. Imagine a father and mother who are sending their child to study at a yeshiva in Israel. As they watch their son get onto the airplane, they are crying. One might wonder, “why?” They want him to study at the yeshiva overseas. The reason is because they are parting from each other and when loved ones part from each other, it is sad.
When a person passes away, we cry because we will never see that person again. It is sad. But at the same time, we need to remember that this is the best thing for the person who passed away. We do not understand it, but Hashem has His reason for it and therefore it is good. Therefore, a person should not overly mourn.
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