No one can or should remain untouched by the tragic events at Newtown Connecticut. Some people in their grief and anguish ask ” But why did God allow this to happen?” It is hard to feel the love of God in such times and to have faith in His Name that He is Good and does Good to all.
The holy Rabbi of Pieczetsna, Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, taught his community during the last years of the Warsaw Ghetto. A witness to the daily murder of innocent men, women and children, he faced this issue of faith in God in the worst of all imaginable circumstances. He did not survive the war, but in a miraculous way some of his teachings did. When it was clear the ghetto was doomed, he hid the teachings in a milk churn, buried beneath the rubble. They were discovered accidentally by a Polish worker digging in the foundations and eventually found their way to Israel where they were published under the name “Aish Kodesh” “Holy Fire”.
Here follows a talk containing his teaching on Chanukah from the year 1941 in which he addresses this very issue of faith in the midst of suffering.
The talk is read from the translation of Aish Kodesh by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira : Sacred Fire: Torah from the Years of Fury 1929-1942 published by Jason Aaronson Inc. 2002
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/heather/327818264/”>heather</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>