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Living Higher: There Will Be So Many Questions

Why, asked Rav Sternbuch, was Rabi Yochanan worried

The conversation between the Rebbe of Toldos Aharon and the Ra’avad of Yerushalayim, Rav Moshe Sternbuch, revolved around matters of emunah. The visiting Rebbe listened as his host shared stories and memories of the great men he’d known, recalling how they dealt with adversity and pain. And then, addressing the difficult days of recent weeks, the Ra’avad shared a final thought with his guest.

The Gemara relates how Rabi Yochanan asked that Mashiach come, yet that he not be present for the chevlei Mashiach, the pangs before Mashiach’s arrival.

Why, asked Rav Sternbuch, was Rabi Yochanan worried — did he not experience the most intense pain possible, losing all ten of his own sons?

“Clearly,” Rav Sternbuch explained, “it wasn’t the physical anguish that he wanted to avoid, but the chillul Hashem created by people questioning the Divine plan. For Rabi Yochanan, this was too much to bear — and during the times of chevlei Mashiach, there will be so many questions. Now, more than ever, we have to hold strong to emunah and connect to Torah, so that its merit might be a shield and protection for us.”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 862)

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