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Klal Yisroel Loses Three Leaders: What Should We Do?

GYE Corp. Monday, 16 January 2012

Following the loss within two weeks of three gedolei Torah, Rav Yitzchok Dov Koppelman, Rav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz and Rav Chaim Stein, zichronam livracha, many Yidden have wondered what the proper reaction of a Torah Yid should be.

Rashi in Parshas Chukas brings a Chazal to explain the juxtaposition in Parshas Chukas of the petirah of Miriam to the parsha of Parah Adumah that explains the reason for this being that it is coming to underscore just as Parah Adumah is a "מכפר", so too מיתת צדיקים is מכפר.

The question is why does the Torah teach us this lesson juxtaposing the parsha of Parah Adumah to the petirah of Miriam and not the Parsha of Karbanos (which serve solely as a כפרה)?

Reb Itzele Poneviezer explained that just as the Parah Adamah only brings "כפרה" and "טהרה" for the person who is "טמא" only after he does a "מעשה" with the ashes - with the "אפר" of the Parah Adumah, (in distinction to the כפרה by karbanos where no "מעשה" is "מעכב" in bringing about a "כפרה" , so too, "מיתת צדיקים" is only "מכפר" when it is accompanied by a "מעשה" , namely our emulating the ways of the holy tzadikim taken away from us. (Until here is from

Therefore certainly the least we can do at this time is to accept upon ourselves at least one new Kabbala.

We all know our weaknesses and what things cause us to slip. Let us all try and make a new "גדר" in the area of shmiras ainayim. It can be a little less time surfing the net, a higher protection setting on the filter, a new shvuah for a month to give a certain amount to tzedaka if we stumble, or whatever else we feel we could benefit from. See the excerpt from "The Mask in the Mirror" below for yet another idea.

And in this way, the מיתת הצדיקים of this past month will truly be מכפר and מטהר us all. Amen.