Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023

Moed Koton 21: A Catalyst for Spiritual Growth

On this daf, we find some halachos of comforting a mourner.

The following is from a letter that Rav Shlomo Wolbe sent to another gadol who lost his mother in 1977:

“…During your shivah, I was unable to visit and comfort your precious family…so I write the following lines in an effort to comfort you. Comforting a mourner does not entail enabling him to forget his mourning, as many mistakenly believe. We see this from the verse in Parshas Chayei Sara, ‘And Yitzchok was comforted after his mother…’ He was comforted when he returned to the tent and saw that everything was on exactly the same spiritual level as when his mother was alive. From here we learn the definition of true nechomah. When someone loses a relative, they often find that they had been leaning on the parent to enable their spiritual level. For this reason, people often fall spiritually after the death of a close relative. This, then, is the definition of nechomah: to encourage the mourners and help prevent them from falling spiritually.

The letter continued: “…Your mother, the daughter of gedolim, surely helped you stand at your present exalted level… To one as understanding as yourself, it is surely apparent that this is an opportunity for spiritual growth to ensure that the new generation without her will not fall short of the earlier generation in any way, but will continue to grow spiritually, maintaining the high standards of the past. This is an aspect of ‘for my father and mother have abandoned me, but Hashem will gather me in’…” (Iggros Ukesovim).

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