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Thought for the Day: Grieving and Consolation

The gemara in Bava Kama, 38a describes how Ulla consoled Rav Shmuel bar Yehuda on the loss of his young daughter.  This is not the place to delve into the gemara, but it is brought as halacha by the Rema in Yora Deah 376:2.  What made this all the more powerful is that my chavrusa and I just "happened" to learn this today in our normal seder.  First, the Rema brings: "Do not say to the avel, 'What can you do, the situation can't be changed." That is blasphemy as it implies that you would change things if you could.  Rather accept the decree of HaShem Yisbarach with love."  The Taz on the spot emphasizes that the Rema is l'halacha.

Ulla's consolation was (in my own words): You must not grieve that this young person had so much to life left, for if there were anything left that her neshama needed to accomplish, it is impossible that she would have left this world.  Ulla was emphasizing again that this world is for nothing except as a preparation for our eternal existence.  There is no reason to be here one second longer than necessary.

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