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  KD MAGAZINE!         ב"ה              
 
 
  Parshat Va'Etchanan / Shabbat Nachamu  
 
Just Rewards
By Rabbi Chaim Lobel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

(Deuteronomy 6:4-5) “Hear O Israel: G-d is our G-d, G-d is one. You shall love G-d, your G-d, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your possessions.”
 
Rashi explains, “love G-d... with all your soul - even if he takes your soul.” This means that one is accepting the yoke of heaven even if it costs him his life.
 
The Talmud (Berachos 61b) relates that Rebbe Akiva was sentenced to torture and death by the Romans for violating the decree of teaching Torah. The Roman executioners tore Rebbe Akiva's flesh with iron combs. As Rebbe Akiva proclaimed “Hear O Israel”, his students asked if one is required to accept G-d's kingship even under such torture and suffering. Rebbe Akiva answered that his whole life he was waiting for the opportunity to accept G-d's yoke “with all your soul – even if he takes your soul.”
 
The heavenly angels asked G-d, is this the reward you give to those who study and sacrifice for your Torah? G-d answered, their reward is in the world to come. A heavenly voice proclaimed to the world “Praiseworthy is Rebbe Akiva who is ready to enter the world to come.”
 
G-d’s system of justice is even beyond the comprehension of angels. How can it be that someone like Rebbe Akiva, a scholar and righteous man of the highest caliber, who risked his life for Torah, could be publicly tortured to death? How can G-d allow such a thing? If angels in heaven could not understand, how can we, of this earth, possibly comprehend G-d’s system for justice and mercy? Yet, just as G-d has kept all his promises to us through his prophets, so must we have faith that each person will be rewarded “according to his deeds”.
Shabbat Shalom
May we all merit to see Jerusalem in its Glory
Rabbi Chaim Lobel is the Rabbi of Young Israel of Aberdeen, Congregation Bet Tefilah, Aberdeen, NJ. http://www.yiaberdeen.com/index.html

 
   
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