Mar 28, 2012

2 Interesting Responses To Recent Tragic Deaths Of Children

This past week has seen the tragic, horrific, deaths of 8 children - 3 murdered in France and 5 on Tuesday night in a horrible fire in Rehovot.

2 interesting responses I have seen regarding the tragedies:

  1. Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau said that the mothers should realize that the tragic deaths of their children was, perhaps, to atone for harsh decrees that were possibly meant to be brought down upon the nation of Israel. (source: Ynet). Maybe yes, maybe no, at least he offered comforting words suggesting there might have been a greater purpose.
  2. Rav Shlomo Aviner, while acknowledging the aspect of the personal tragedy of mothers losing their children and husbands, said this should not be played up to a national tragedy. Rav Aviner said that before modern medicine 2/3 of children would die from disease, and now it is rare for a child to die of disease, and that is only due to modern medicine. The death of each and every child is a tragedy and the general picture of statistics does not solve the suffering of those families. If even statistically only one out of a million children die from a certain disease, for the mother of that one child it is 100% - to her it matters not what happens to the rest.

    We, with a broader perspective, are living in paradise, but we must remember that people die all the time... every year more than 350 people, including children, die in car accidents, more than 10,000 from smoking while up to 1/6th of them dont even smoke - why does nobody get emotional about all of them? That does not even take into account all the people who die of heart diseases from poor eating habits. Because those are large numbers.

    It is not right to turn to Hashem and ask why He did this to us, when just about everything we have is very good. There are countries in which the people have almost nothing to eat. Every day 30,000 children die of hunger. Have you seen anybody get emotional over that?

    Every death is a tragedy. But the personal tragedy of a person should not distort everybody's thinking. For that family it was truly a tragedy, but there are many other families with tragedies. A family that was killed in a car accident is less upsetting than that killed in a terrorist attack or in a fire? (source and more: Srugim)
While Rav Aviner is putting this into perspective, I am not sure what he is trying to do. While it would make sense if he would be saying to be more emotional and recognize the tragedy in even less dramatic tragedies, it seems more like he is trying to get people to be less emotional about these tragedies. 

Personally, I think we are all too disconnected from each other and from the concept of areivus. yes, perhaps we don't recognize enough the tragedy when reading in the news about a tragic car accident that wiped out a family. Maybe we do, but let's give him that point for argument's sake.So, maybe we don't personalize other forms of tragedy - does that mean we should also not empathize and relate to this tragedy? Does he want us to be completely cold and ignore everyone's tragedy just because we don't relate to all other situations equally?
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1 comment:

  1. Rav aviner is beeing ridicilus he does not even make sens or help any body.i personnaly think that one of the strong point of thos tragedies was the achdus and feeling of solidarity that strongly came out of it and helped a little eva sandler to feel better so what does he suggest that we stop caring about each other??


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