16 Oct 2015 Questions With No Answers
At the end of this week’s parsha, Parshas Noach, we meet Avraham Avinu, the father of the Umah Yisraelis, the Jewish nation. Avraham Avinu, who was tested with ten tests and passed them all.
From the flames of Nimrod’s fiery furnace to the Binding of Isaac, Avraham was faced with one trial after one. “Go for yourself to the Land that I will show you,” is followed by “and there was a famine in the Land.” “Through Yitzchak will your offspring be,” is followed by “take you son, your only one, the one you love, Yitzchak, and raise him up as an offering.”
Which is it – the Land will be a blessing for me, or there will be famine there?
Which is it – through this long-awaited-for child I will have descendants, or must I offer him up as a sacrifice?
Rav Soloveitchik zt’l notes that Avraham could have asked many good questions. Yet had he asked, says R’ Soloveitchik, he would have lost the right to become the father of the Umah Yisraelis. To be a Jew, to be of the children of Avraham our father, means to hold tightly to our faith – our emunah peshutah – come what may. Even when, or perhaps especially when, our questions are strong and the answers are few…
Like Avraham Avinu, we too could ask many good questions…
What of Itamar Henkin, 9 months old, who will never know, or remember, his parents love, smell, warmth and embrace?
We too could ask many questions…What of the bravery and Torah dedication of Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, HY”D, who ran to save his fellow Jews – for saving a life takes precedence over all – and yet he gave his life, instead of saving another?
And what of the widow of IDF soldier Aharon Banita HY”D, who arrived at the hospital with no less than seventeen stab wounds to her body?
We too could ask many questions…What of the murder of Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky HY”D, on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan in the holy city of Jerusalem, who was on his way from Shachris to his chavrusa learning session, and was taken while waiting for his bus?
And what of Haviv Haim, HY”D, an elderly Jew who took his wife to her doctor appointment and then found himself locked inside a bus of terror, with no way to defend himself? And what of Alon Guverg HY”D, who was on board the same Egged bus #78 – who had no family to attend his levaya and mourn his death, so that Zaka called for the tzibur at large to accompany the niftar to his final resting place?
What of these kedoshim and tehorim…we could ask…But we don’t.
Because had Avraham Avinu asked he would have lost the right to become the father of the Umah Yisraelis. And we, his children, learn that deep emunah often means not to ask. For there are too many questions that simply have no answers.
So we hold on tightly to our faith, we cling to our prayers, and we beseech the Almighty to herald the day when all of our questions will finally be answered.
With the pain evident in his voice, Rabbi Elimelech Biderman eulogized Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky HY”D, a Pinsk-Karlin chassid, noting that just that morning – as he did every Rosh Chodesh – R’ Krishevsky made sure to read from the Torah at his Shul shortly before he was murdered.
“A half hour later you went up to heaven,” Rabbi Biderman said, his voice cracking. “Go up to the throne of G-d and tell Him, blessed be He, to stop it!”
For is the cup of tears not yet full?…We could ask. But we don’t. For alas, this too is a question that perhaps has no answer.
Wishing you, and all of Klal Yisrael, a peaceful Shabos of comfort, simcha and menuchas ha’nefesh.
בברכת בשורות טובות וישועות,