Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When It Doesn't Make Sense

They were sitting around on Shabbos afternoon, when the conversation turned serious. The boy who was hit with a bat before Purim is the nephew of my son's friend. He is in critical condition, and my son was upset.

"Imagine how the boy who hit him feels," my daughter said.

There were sighs all around as that thought sank in.

"It's like Suri Brisk's chosson," she continued. "Imagine how he feels."

I couldn't even begin to imagine.

"I can't believe she's gone." She sighed deeply. "She was just a couple of years older than me. Just a regular girl from a regular family. It doesn't make sense."

Someone I've been working very closely with every day is now fighting for her life. She was fine just a short time ago. She's just a regular woman with a regular family. With a husband and children who need her.

It doesn't make sense.

As I write this, I wonder if I spend too much time focusing on the things that don't make sense to me - on the times I don't see Hashem - the times when He is hidden.

"Why didn't you make kreplach this year?" my little boy asked me on Purim. Kreplach are traditionally eaten on Purim because the hidden filling is reminiscent of the hidden nature of the Purim miracle.

"I made stuffed cabbage," I told him. "It's the same idea. The meat filling is hidden inside the cabbage."

"Right," he agreed, "hamantashen too."

"Not really." I wasn't sure. "The filling in hamantashen isn't hidden. It's peeking out a bit."

"Like the Purim nes!" He smiled as he explained. "Hashem wasn't completely hidden. He was peeking out a bit."

There are times I do see Him, of course. There are times when the miracles are so obvious. I only need to look at my sweet granddaughter, at each of my children, at all the good I'm blessed with, to see Him peeking out. It's easy to see Him then.

But I need to take the message of Purim and discover Hashem even when He is concealed.

Even when it doesn't make sense.


  1. This is such a good, true message.
    There are so many times in life when He is hidden. But if we focus on the little things and on those times when we see Him so clearly, it can help us pull through the times when He is so hidden and so far away.
    May we all be able to see Him peeking through and may that help us get through the tough times, the times when we don't see Him at all and things don't make sense to us.

  2. I think we all go through periods where we question more than usual.
    This occurs most often when we are surrounded by seemingly senseless suffering.
    I try to remember the "moshol" of the baby receiving a vaccination. The baby cries because it is in pain and doesn't understand. The mother doesn't cry because the mother sees the benefit to the pain.
    It is so hard to watch people we care about suffer. We must try to remember that Hashem knows that everything that is happening is the exact right thing at that moment.
    Wishing you menuchas hanefesh.

  3. I was supposed to sing for Suri Chanukah time but it didn't come together. I felt terribel when I recently heard the news. Certain things never can be understood, well put and nice how you tied it into Purim...

  4. It is so amazing to read this at a time when my close friend lost her father, very suddenly. It is painful for the family and the whole community. It still does not make sense and it is ok to question within limits. This can sometimes help to understand on the intellectual level.

  5. There is no way to understand these tragedies. They're beyond human comprehension. Blind faith is a test as well as an answer in these trying times.


  6. Often, I feel as you do. There are two ways of looking at it (at life):

    1) Hashem has His reasons, which are hidden to us; or we are just pieces of a puzzle-as is life itself-and we cannot see the completed picture, or

    2) Everything is random, and life was an accident

    I waver between the former and the latter; lately I am leaning towards the former. But I still can't explain the sho'ah, and why so much pain and suffering was "allowed."
    Guess I'm just like everybody else...

  7. I love reading your posts... Always thoughtful and inspirational...