Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Did They Die?

Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein has an answer
He doesn’t look like s a Kabbalist.  I don’t think he is a Sephardi either. Sephardim (Jews of Middle Eastern origin) tend to be more Kabbalistic than Ashkenazim (Jews of European origin). He seems like a modern man. Clean shaven. No payos. He even has a fashionable Chup (Yiddish for hair that is a bit too long in the front). But… apparently Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein does dabble in Kabalah. And for that we should all be grateful. Not only to him for edifying us. But to Gabriel Sasson for providing the Kaparos for our sins.

Yes, my friends we sinners were all spared punishments so that we could do Teshuva and mend our ways. That’s because Rabbi Wallerstein in an attempt to try and understand what happened last Shabbos to the Sasson family, took a Zohar (the classic work of Kabalah) and opened it up randomly to see what it says.  He hoped that random opening would fall on a page that would give him some answers. 

Indeed it did. He found answers. It could not have been clearer. Who knew that all we need to do is look in a  book about Kabalah and presto… we now know how to  answer the unanswerable theodicy of Tzadik V’Ra Lo. (Why didn’t  Moshe Rabbenu think of that?! Chazal tell us that this was the only thing he did not know the answer to. Maybe he didn’t have a copy of the Zohar handy… I don’t know.)

So why did they die such a horrible death?

You see my friends, it’s our fault. Yes - we are all to blame. We are simply not religious enough. God had to get us to change our ways. So He sent us a message. And what better way to do that than by killing 7 innocent children?

Gabriel Sasson’s children were Kaparos, you see. Sacrificed because of our sins. They are like the chicken many Jews have slaughtered on Erev Yom Kippur saying ‘let this chicken die in our stead’. We then go into the next day, repent – and ask for forgiveness.

So yes, today too we should repent. But Hakaras HaTov is a very important concept in Judaism. So we ought to send Mr. Sasson thank you notes for providing his children for this purpose. That should comfort him the rest of his days.

Thank you Mr. Sasson. And thank you Rabbi Wallerstein for your wisdom on this subject and I urge you to contact Mr. Sasson and share your wisdom with him.