Tragedy to Redemption by Rabbi Hershel Solnica zt’l


The Sedra’s two titles express a sad feel of life and place a serious challenge to us individually and collectively as a people.  My father, Rabbi Shmuel Solnica zt”l, would always sadly comment on this combination of Sedrot, “Only after Acharei Mot do we learn the lesson of Kedoshim Tihiyu.” 

How beautiful it would be if we were to learn, to enjoy, and to live the beloved Mitzvot outlined in Parshat Kedoshim. This Sedra goes from Shabbat to Kibud Av Vaeim, to honesty, to decency, etc.  Must we first witness the tragedy and loss of our best to reach The Treasure of Redemption?

It is no wonder that the sequence of Yom Hashoa and then Yom Haatzmaut is so fundamental. This seems to be a sad but normal sequence in the life of Yisrael. 

Did we not first witness a tragic Holocaust and then be blessed with מדינת ישראל? How many people need to experience sickness and/or sadness before they realize that ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­בידו אפקיד רוחי (We are all in His hand). I often tell my Talmeidim, “One visit to a hospital, dialysis ward, or cardiac ward, and one can not wait to see חכמים, to do תשובה, and more importantly to count our blessings every moment of the day.

In שמונה עשרה we say in מודים, “…על ניסיך” (upon the miracles and wonders that Hashem gives and does to us, בכל עת ערב ובקר every morning, every evening…)

Let us all turn to ה' and take a short cut to redemption. Let us become religious and righteous without having to face a Hitler or an Arafat to remind us that we are all ביד ה', and only by His grace and kindness to we awake, do we survive, and are able to be delivered. The Rally in Washington was a beginning of what אחדות (unity) could and should be. Let us build on this and ה' will bless us all with a גאולה שלמה.

A True Optimist by Daniel Fischer

Lending a Helping Hand by Ilan Tokeyer