June 15, 2012 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #603799takahmamashParticipant
On our yishuv, a 13 year old boy bicycling to shule this morning was hit by a bus and died on the street.
I’ve always had problems in my own understanding with Hashem’s plan when kids die. Please help me try to come to grips with this.
Even harder is what to say to the parents, if anything.
A friend emailed me, “As a parent, it was without a doubt the hardest funeral I ever had to attend.”
Thanks and Shabbat ShalomJune 15, 2012 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #880033Sam2Participant
There is no way to understand this. Sometimes it means HKBH had a specific plan which involved this child only living 13 years. Sometimes it’s as simple and horrible as that the kid didn’t look before crossing the street and didn’t see the bus. There’s no way for us to know.June 15, 2012 2:39 pm at 2:39 pm #880034BTGuyParticipant
I dont know if there is anyway to come to grips with it and mitigate the emotional sorrow we all feel when these things, nebuch, happen.
Somehow we have to try to understand it is all in Hashem’s plan, and these cases are for advanced learners, at best.
All I can say is that whether someone lives 13 years or 123 years, the result is the same for everyone. And whether one lives for 13 or 123 years, those ages seem like a small difference when placed in perspective with how long eternity is once the neshama has reached it’s destination.
I guess allow yourself to feel upset and perplexed about this. There is no easy way to come to grips with this on this side of the fence.
Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 120 years!June 15, 2012 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #880035zahavasdadParticipant
A little OT, I know someone who was killed by a drunk driver (Many years ago)
When I went to pay a shiva call, it was the absolute WORST shiva call Ive ever made and ive never forgotten it. I remember seeing the Father especially being in a dazeJune 15, 2012 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #880036smartcookieMember
Baruch Dayan Haemes.
I don’t think there’s much to say. These parents don’t need words of Chizzuk now. Just show them you care, tell them what a sad tragedy this is, and cry with them.
You can also say a nice thing or two about their son.
They just need you to feel their pain.June 15, 2012 3:06 pm at 3:06 pm #880037ConcernedMemberParticipant
Firstly, let me state that I am very sorry to hear that something like this happened, and my heart goes out to the child’s family and your entire community.
There isn’t much you can say to the parents and family other than being there for them in their time of need. Obviously you are very disturbed by this as well, as anyone would be, and often times without even knowing it, by being there for them you are also comforting yourself.
The only thing I pray does not happen is commentary from what I like to call pseudo-neviim. It is human nature to try to find “reasons” for a tragedy. We all do it to some extent. However the pseudo-neviim are those who have no problem claiming to know for certain the reasoning behind G-d’s actions. They’ll assign the blame to “tznius” or to “talking in shul” or perhaps “the internet.”
To claim to know the reasons behind G-d’s actions is nothing short of pure heresy. We are simple human beings and we can not comprehend the reasons things happen. We are not capable of that. For people or groups to hijack such situations to further their cause-du-jour is appalling. In our religion we do not give credence to false prophets and that is precisely what people like that are. Their explanations will not help you, they will not help the child’s family, your neighborhood, or the pure soul of the child.
My advice for you is not to try and explain this, but to simply be a caring neighbor for this family and for your community to come together, ignore the commentary and proselytizing and grieve together as a family.
May G-d bless you with the strength and courage to pull through this terrible tragedy together with the boy’s family and may you never again know of such sorrow.June 15, 2012 3:06 pm at 3:06 pm #880038CsarMember
You don’t have to say anything when visiting the parents for shiva. Just sit with them. (And if they start talking to you, simply follow wherever they lead the conversation.) The main thing is to sit with them.June 15, 2012 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #880039ZeesKiteParticipant
Do we know HaShem’s plan any time?!?
Sometimes we have Gedolim to interpret happenings correctly, HaShem gives His Closest divine inspiration to correctly come to a defining conclusion. Other times it is not so clear. Us ba’alei (ba’alos) batim, ever the more less. We have, however, seforim and an abundance of sources that deal with and discuss all issues. Including this.
He may (again MAY) have been a Korbon, used to inspire others to reflect, to do tshuva, or as a ????. The more closeness, the more pain and anguish felt, the more taken into account. ???? ???? ????, every far-reaching minute consequence included into the judgement.
We do not know. In the initial stages we stand back at a respectful and awed distance and humbly say the bracha ???? ????, we are ????? by any means in the family’s pain, and try, as hard as it is, to offer any substantial words of encouragement.
????? ???? ????June 15, 2012 3:28 pm at 3:28 pm #880040I can only tryMember
-Listen to them when they talk about the nifter.
-If you have anything nice that you remember about the nifter and/or stories to reminisce about, share them.
Boruch dayan emes.June 15, 2012 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #880041always runs with scissors fastParticipant
THe only way I can find some way to soothe myself when tragedy like this strikes is in the realization of the truth that we each pick the package of the life’s events we will agree to live here on earth, before incarnating down here. So there are things and challenges we must bear the burden of, for ex. sometimes we’ll see a cripple who suffers with a funny walk all their life. Well, no need to really feel sorry for them, as this was the best peckel their neshama needed and took upon themself in order to bring tikkun to the world and their charachter.
This kids’ time was up, as he had completed his tikkun. And he was also a special one as Hashem came and picked him, as a flower in a way, to take back to His Garden.June 15, 2012 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #880042HaLeiViParticipant
There were times that the reason for tragedy was very well known, and in fact foretold. That didn’t make it any less sad. Yirmiyahu Hanavi, after warning about the Churban for years, cried over it when it happened.
The Mishna says that Hashem expresses a sadness when a Rasha is killed in Beis Din.
It doesn’t make a difference what the reason is. For those suffering it is not a time for Mussar, either. But you do have to realize that the world is run by Hashem.June 15, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #880043shtarkzichMember
I recall a Rav Miller tape where he discusses the subject of a child dying. I was somewhat comforted when he pointed out that the child is compensated with an oylum habo as if he had toiled and lived to be an old and successful yiras shomayim which we believe is our purpose for living in this world to begin with.June 17, 2012 2:54 am at 2:54 am #880044mddMember
When children before bar/bas mitsva age die (r’l), it is because of the aveiros of the parents (Rashi in Chumash). Past that, it is his/her own cheshbon.June 17, 2012 3:54 am at 3:54 am #880045happym19Member
Baruch dayan emes
I just want to say that of course this has already been said above, but no one does know hashems plans, and they clearly are what they are for a reason! I can definitely say from personal experience that it isnt so easy to figure out why hashem did something,but you have to realize that in the end it was what had to happen, it could be for millions of reasons.
****Also a very important point I want to make is many times everyone is very helpful and caring, and making sure they are there for the family during shiva, which I want to make a point that this is a wonderful wonderful thing but then a few weeks or months or even years later this same family that still had the same tragedy happen to them doesnt have as much support and have people there for them! (not always true) I just want to say that this means so much to a family who has gone through a difficult situation to constantly have someone there for them, and not just when it first happened.June 17, 2012 4:46 am at 4:46 am #880046147Participant
I recall a Rav Miller tape where he discusses the subject of a child dying. I was somewhat comforted when he pointed out that the child is compensated with an oylum habo as if he had toiled and lived to be an old and successful yiras shomayim which we believe is our purpose for living in this world to begin with.
Notwithstanding what Rav Avigdor Miller said, he lost a grandchild about 2 months & 9 days before his own passing away, and this was the beginning of his own deterioration health-wise, having to deal with the awful tragedy of a grandson’s passing away.
Meanwhile, takahmamash’s 1st question should have been:- “Sheluchei Mitzwhoh Lo Nizokin”, so how do we explain the violation of this so well known principle, when someone on the way to Shul, the holiest of all Mitzwohs, was killed on the way to performance of such a tremendous Mitzwh?June 17, 2012 4:53 am at 4:53 am #880047ConcernedMemberParticipant
mdd, would you find it appropriate to actually say that to someone, though?
Regardless of who wrote it, and I obviously have the utmost respect and reverence for Rashi, you simply do not ever say something like that to a person who is grieving, for any reason.
Regardless of what is written or said, a community and a family are in mourning and any sort of statement of “this happened because of ____” are tremendously hurtful and inappropriate.June 17, 2012 5:18 am at 5:18 am #880048smartcookieMember
Thank you concerned member for taking the words out of my mouth. I couldn’t figure out how to word this response to MDD and you nailed it.June 17, 2012 5:26 am at 5:26 am #880049CsarMember
Nowhere had mdd suggested advising the parents a reason. He simply explained to *us* the reason, as explained in Rashi.June 17, 2012 5:30 am at 5:30 am #880050HaLeiViParticipant
147, The Gemara in Shabbos quotes Rav Yosef wishing that he will have a Chelek with those who died Biderech Mitzva.
One possible approach is that Sheluchei Mitzva Einan Nizakin is a rule that means the person won’t get hurt becase of performing a Mitzva unless there was a reasonable risk involved. The person can still get hurt by any other means that would have happened regardless.June 17, 2012 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #880051mddMember
Yasher koach,Csar.I was talking to the OP, trying to answer his question.June 17, 2012 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #880052shtarkzichMember
147 – Rav millers loss may have contributed to his ultimate demise but as far as I know he was diagnosed with leukemia some years before his petirah and died from that.June 18, 2012 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm #880053BTGuyParticipant
I am reluctant to say you are wrong at this point. But such a severe statement, if taken in context, and if it means in all cases and not a specific case, should be backed up with more specifics like what sefer, perek, and posuk does Rashi make this comment.
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