We don’t pretend to know the secret workings of Heaven, but the fact that so many lost their lives in such tragic circumstances, in such a holy place and at such a joyful time – that says something!
Our rejoicing has turned into mourning.
Together with all of Am Yisrael, we are shocked and devastated at the terrible tragedy that has befallen us.
Dozens of exceptional, precious members of our people ascended to Heaven, amidst holy enthusiasm, sacrificed upon the Altar of holy souls.
Who could believe that on such a joyful day there would be such an outpouring of hastarah (hiddenness)?!
And yet, we’ve experienced this in the past, as we read recently in the Torah about the deaths of the sons of Aharon on one of the most joyful days for the Jewish People – the inauguration of the Mishkan on the first of Nisan. And specifically then, the Torah testifies: “With those who are close to Me, I will be sanctified,” after which it states, “And Aharon was silent.”
It’s incumbent upon us to take this message to the right place, to draw closer to Hashem, and not, God forbid, to become distanced. In the wake of this unspeakable tragedy, we mustn’t fall into sadness, but rather, to a place of a broken heart.
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In lesson 260* of Likutey Moharan, Rebbe Nachman teaches that there are times when the only way for there to be unification between the Holy One and His Shekhinah is through mesirut nefesh, literal self-sacrifice. Indeed, this is the secret of the Ten Martyrs and of all the Jews throughout history who willingly gave up their lives to sanctify God’s Name. Rebbe Nachman goes on to explain that this is why there are times when there is a decree of death for certain people – in order for this unification to become possible. Also, Reb Avraham Chazan wrote that we’ve seen in the past how similar events clearly mitigated much harsher decrees on the entirety of the Jewish people.
We don’t pretend to know the secret workings of Heaven, but the fact that so many lost their lives in such tragic circumstances and in such a holy place and at such a joyful time teaches us that this must be the reason. And now, the unification that has taken place in Heaven is so very great, this is specifically the time for us to pray and cry out to Hashem from a broken heart (and not out of sadness) to finally bring the Mashiach, at this time, and to bring us the Final Redemption!