When Gedolim are niftar
Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:28 AM
It means we don't deserve them anymore. Logic dictates that Tzadikim would finish their job on this world much quicker than the average person, and so one would think they would die younger. The Chasam Sofer explains that Tzadikim did indeed finish their job when they were much younger, but the reason Hashem keeps them on this world is for our sake - because we need them to be here, not because they need to be here. If they are no longer here, it means that Hashem has decided against benefiting us with their presence.
I wasn't sure the appropriate thread for this question. What is the message we should take when our gedolim are niftar? Is there a difference whether they are niftar young or old?
I don't know what's going on in Shamayim, but the reason Hashem punishes Mida Kneged Mida is for us to understand why we are being punished, and it's not rocket science to think that if we do not appreciate our Gedolim, if we do not listen to them, then there is no reason for them to be here. But this is more than just a usual Mida Kneged Midah. If the only reason they are here to begin with is to benefit us, then if we choose not to benefit from them, you would not need Hashem to make a proactive decree to punish Midah Kneged Midah - the reason for Hashem's decree for them to be here with us would no longer apply, and so they leave us r"l. You would not need Hashem to make a Gezeirah to take away Gedoim from us - we would simply have rendered them irrelevant and the only reason they are here is because they are relevant.
Again, I don't know what's going on in Shamayim, and there are multiple reasons for why things happen, but we are supposed to learn from our Tzoros - יפשפש במעשיו - and it is a stretch akin to being in denial to consider it a coincidence that at a time when unfortunately, to so many people the Gedolei Ysiroel are irrelevant, r"l, that the natural result of their being irrelevant happens.
Gedolim are only on this world because we benefit from them. If we refuse to do that, there is no reason for them to be here.
In addition if we do not accord Gedolei Ysiroel the appropriate honor and respect, it becomes a Bizayon HaTorah for them to be here, and Hashem removes them to prevent the Bizayon HaTorah.
It also is a reminder for us that Gedolei Yisroel do not last forever, and we need to get busy producing Gedolei Yisroel for Klall Yisroel. We cannot forget that the most valuable asset to our nation, both in Ruchniyus and Gashmiyus, is a Talmid Chacham. Says the Baal HaTurim:
בעל הטורים על דברים פרק א פסוק ג
(ג) בארבעים - ב' במסורה. ויהי בארבעים. בארבעים אלף בישראל (שופטים ה, ח). לומר אם יהיה תלמיד חכם אחד בין ארבעים אלף צריכים לא רומח ולא מגן כי התלמיד חכם מגין עליהם מאויביהם, דאיירי התם בתלמידי חכמים שנאמר לבי לחקקי ישראל והכא נמי
כתיב בתריה ענין התורה שנאמר (פסוק ה) הואיל משה באר את התורה:
And therefore, regardless of the reason these Gedolim were Niftar, we need to get busy producing more. When there is a sudden material loss of an already too scarce, necessary-for-life resource, we need to work hard on producing as much as we can.
Posted 26 December 2011 - 09:32 PM
Posted 01 January 2012 - 02:15 PM
Theoretically, a person could pop up nowadays who was like the GRA, though I would not bet on it happening in real life.
I feel so frustrated because in Rav Shimshon Pincus's book Nefesh Chaya he says how its impossible for a boy these days to be on the level of say the Gra, but is that implying that a man could become a gadol on a lower madreiga? Like, if I know someone who could have a household environment to raise a gadol, is it possible?
I wouldn't be surprised if in the GRA's days people said nobody could be on such a high level as the GRA was, until he arrived. That could theoretically happen again. But don't bet on it.
Of course we can produce Gedolim, though relatively speaking. Relatively smaller than past generations of Gedolim but relatively greater than his generation. Rav Mendel Rimonover ZTL said that even though the Gedolim of the later generations before Moshiach comes will be much smaller than the Gedolim of previous generations, they will be higher above their own generations than the Gedolim of previous generations were.
In other words, if you look at the generation and their Gedolim, you should be surprised that such a low generation has such relatively great Gedolim. Whatever the later Gedolim are, they are much more than the later generations deserve.