Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Hesped from the Levaya

Adonai! Al Bi’apcha tochicheini v’al b’chamasicha t’yasreini!

My master! Don’t rebuke us in anger, and don’t afflict us in rage,

A pasuk we’ve all recited many times over the last few days. And when we read this pasuk, we can’t help but be bothered. How can God cause so much pain for us? Is He angry? How can He be angry with David? Look at all the people who came together on his behalf. Davening…learning…saying tehillim…doing extra mitzvos…giving tzedaka. Look at all the friends, family, and members of klal yisroel. People that David speaks to everyday, people that he hasn’t seen in years, and people who he didn’t know at all, all on the front lines supporting him, his family and all of us. How can God be angry when He sees klal yisroel coming together for 1 human being...1 holy Jew? Is this pain that we feel really a reflection of God’s wrath?

But, I think, if you look more closely at the pasuk, it becomes clear that this suffering is not out of God’s anger, rather out of extreme love! The Gemara in Brachos gives us a prescription for such tragic occasions. The Gemara writes, that if you are suffering and you don’t know why, you should look scrupulously at the actions that you have done. So, lets take a look. What can we say about David’s actions? Anyone that knew David can attest to the fact that his actions were pure. He was a tremendous masmid, he was scrupulous about Halacha, he davened with the utmost kavana, he was always makpid not to speak loshon hara. In which case, it can’t be his actions that are responsible for this suffering. The Gemara goes on to say that if you cant find any misdeeds you should attribute the suffering to bitul torah. David was one of the biggest masmidim we know, in the true sense of the word. He took his sedarim very seriously and always pushed his chavrusas to learn more. There is no way we can attribute this pain to bitul torah. Then what is the solution? The gemara says, it must be that these are yisurin shel ahava, afflictions of love.

I would like to suggest that the pain and suffering we feel today is out of Hashem’s extreme love for David. We prayed to hashem “al bi chamascha tiyasreini” and he answered us that although these are painful times, it is not out of anger that I afflict you rather it is for my deep love for our dear R’ Dovid.

How did I come to realize this? How am I so sure that this is the case? It is because of you. You have all helped us realize this. Your tremendous support, encouragement, care and love for David has showed us this. The mishna in avos says, a line that David had underlined in his pirkei avos that I used to prepare this speech, “Rebbi omer- eizo hi derech yishara sheyavor lohadam- which is the straight path that a person should follow? Kol she hi tiferes lioseha vitiferes lo min hadam- anything that is glorified to God and glorified from amongst man.” Some of the meforshim explain that tiferes lo min hadam is a litmus test for tiferes lioseha. In other words, how do we know that a person is considered glorified by God, if we see that he is glorified by man. Your attendance this morning, in addition to your endless gifts of time, mitzvos, learning and prayers have assured us that David was truly glorified by man and thus loved by God.

We are therefore, very thankful for helping us realize that the pain we feel is an affliction of God’s love for David. All of the efforts you put forth, surely reflected David’s wonderful attributes and strengths.

To all of those who signed up for tehillim and to daven on David’s behalf, Thank you for highlighting David’s strong commitment to tefillah. David was amazingly meticulous about going to minyan on time. For shachris he needed to be there 5 mintues early to put on his tefillin. In teen minyan in hillcrest he was always the one to daven pisukei dizimra because he was the first one there. When he was in shul he showed a tremendous kavod hatefilah. He was careful not to talk and to have kavana throughout. We thank you for reminding us of this magnificent trait of David’s

To all of those who signed up to learn for david. Thank you for underscoring David’s amazing consistency in learning. As I mentioned, Rotty took his sedarim very seriously. He always tried to come on time and tried to never miss a seder. He was in seder and shiur just this past Thursday. Very often on shabbos, you could find david sitting on the basement couch learning, because he wanted to do what he felt was right but didn’t want anyone to know he was doing it.

Which brings me to another wonderful midah of david’s. David was extraordinarily humble. He always did the right thing but didn’t insist on anyone knowing about it. And in this honor we wish to thank all those who contributed anonymously. Your humility is a tribute to David’s legacy.

Lastly, thank you to all of you who gave tzedaka in David’s merit. We all know that david would do anything for any of us. He always offered his assistance to his friends and family, and did so happily. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for a friend. He loved you guys so much. So we thank you so much for reflecting this midah of david’s and ask that you continue to give in his memory.

So again, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you so much for all of the chizuk that you have given us. We wouldn’t have been able to get through the last few days without your encouragement, support and tefillot. We ask that you continue your efforts to grow in memory of our dearest David, and that he continue be a melitz yosher for us and all of klal yisrael. T’hei niafsho tzrurah btzror hachaim.

1 comment:

  1. The inprint Dovid has left on so many neshamos is unbelievable. May he be zoche to be in high worlds of Olam Habah. We love you Dovid.