This is a tragic period in the Jewish year, the three weeks between the Fasts of the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av where we focus our attention on the destruction of the Two Temples and Jewish tragedies in general. The following stories I hope will have an uplifting aspect as well.
My cousin’s mom passed away already three years ago this week, after 42 days in a coma. This number is significant as in this parshah the 42 stops that the Jews made in the desert are enumerated. Someone pointed out the significance of this number, that she underwent 42 journeys, in a sense, even as doctors told my cousin she wouldn’t last nearly as long. This seems to be a common theme among doctors, where doctors predict and patients outlive. There is also a 42 letter name of G-d whose nature is a carefully guarded secret. It is also Scott Adam’s answer to the meaning of life. Coincidence? I think not.
This week was also the end of a year’s journey for Yisrael Moshe Reisman, the 31 year old son of Rav Yaakov Reisman shlita. He was a special person, both euphemistically and in the contribution he made to this world. He practiced the values we allegedly are supposed to uphold, which we often say are great for those of limited ability but not for ourselves. He arranged the synagogue, was always on time for prayers and learning, and really tried to become a scholar, despite not being able to read or speak in full sentences. Rav Reisman compared him to Moshe Rabbenu (our teacher) himself because of the fact that they both had difficulty with speech and yet accomplished so much as Jews. He never gossiped, never had a bad thing to say about anyone, and was just a general inspiration to everyone he met. He exemplified Torah values even though he couldn’t read what the Torah said.
Rav Reisman asked that anyone who was touched by his speech or by Yisrael Moshe’s life to say something or do a mitzvah in order to elevate his soul in Heaven. This is my piece.