July 23, 2024
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July 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I read the heartfelt “A Father’s Hesped” by Aryeh Morris (May 6, 2021), for his 19-year-old son, yeshiva student Donny Morris, z”l, a Teaneck lad who sadly perished at the Lag B’Omer celebration in Meron that turned into an unbelievably tragic event with the loss of 45 precious lives, as well as 150 injured.

Aryeh Morris’ beloved son Donny compressed so much love, learning and chesed in his far-too-brief 6,975 days of life. May the memory of all those who perished be for a blessing. We grieve for all 45 victims of this terrible tragedy, and hope and pray for a refuah sheleima for the many injured.

In the same Jewish Link issue, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, zt”l, had written about Parshat Bechukotai, which includes a verse from the tochacha: “They will fall when no one is chasing them. They will stumble over each other…” Rabbi Sacks went on to explain, “We are all implicated in one another’s fate.” We are all responsible for each other. If one Jew perishes because of an accident, disease or any reason, we are all diminishaed by the loss; we all feel the pain and have compassion for the bereaved.

Sadly, we are again faced with the inexplicable conundrum posed by Rabbi Harold Kushner, Why do bad things happen to good people? when young people are celebrating a joyous holiday or simcha that ends in such tragic circumstances.

But alas, this is a question that defies any suitable or acceptable answer.

Behar-Bechukosai concludes that despite our human inadequacies, Hashem will still fulfill his covenant and lovingly accept us—much like a father or mother will always love their children no matter what. There is no scientific explanation and/or equation for love, but hopefully we have experienced another who gave us love or someone we in turn loved. So we know that love is real and exists as a vital life force just as our faith in Hashem exists.

Life is usually a wiggly line with a few unexpected twists, but love and faith can help us navigate the inevitable hurdles and challenges we all face,

Charles Cohen
Fair Lawn
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