As the war rages in Israel I think of those who have fallen in defense of the Jewish People, Hy”d, every time I say kaddish. On Shabbos I came upon Rabbi Abner Weiss’ book, Death and Bereavement. The following brief excerpts are particularly timely, meaningful and hopefully comforting to all who need comfort.
Kaddish “reflects the defiant, triumphant faith of Job, who declared, in response to his terrible, undeserved suffering, “Yea, though He slay me, I shall nevertheless trust in Him”.
“G-d’s ways are inscrutable to us, and often appear to challenge us to disbelief. The sufferings of the righteous, the sudden termination of a life which is full of promise, with dreams unrealized and hopes unfulfilled…all can shake our faith in the beneficent Creator. Instead, our response is the sanctification of His Name, perhaps reluctantly – even defiantly – at first, but, by dint of daily repetition, in loving reconciliation in the end.”
“…we begin to respond to the lesson of kaddish. The world is His. He created it, and directs it according to His will, with infinite, surpassing wisdom.”
“…although it is not clear why individuals and even nations suffer and perish, we become convinced that, ultimately, His kingdom will be established on earth, and that suffering will have been recompensed.”
- “Our consolation is heightened by the requirement that the kaddish be recited publicly, in a minyan. We soon see that we are not alone. Others share our pain. Other people are tormented by grief and join us in the recitation of the kaddish. Our anguish is not isolated. We are part of the bereaved, which is united in its experience of the most inescapable aspect of life – its inexorable termination.”
And now I must leave to say kaddish.