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Thank You All!

18/08/16 23:45:13


My mother, sister and I, together with all our family, have been absolutely overwhelmed by the huge level of support that we have received from you, our community, over this past week and a half. Your calls, texts and emails have helped soften the pain of our father's unexpected passing. (Although our father was 92, he was regaining muscle strength after a serious fall and the week before his passing began walking again. Until the end he was mentally astute and amazingly positive notwithstanding his total blindness.)

Although it has been difficult to respond individually to all your warm messages, please be assured that we have read them all. The fact that so many of you have taken the time to write has meant a lot to us. 

This week is Shabbat Nachamu. In a beautiful letter to Arik Sharon after he suffered the loss of a child, the Rebbe wrote to him explaining why we say to mourners, "May G-D comfort you among all those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem."


a) It is much easier to handle suffering when you are not the only one suffering. Or as sages tell us, "the pain of the many is half a consolation". We therefore say to the mourners: "Remember you are not alone. If you look just a little beneath the surface you will realise that in a very real  sense we are all in mourning. The Temple has been destroyed. G-d's Presence is not manifest. The Jewish people continue to suffer from baseless hatred. And many, many people of all stripes suffer emotionally, mentally and spiritually in this imperfect and unredeemed world".

b) Zion and Jerusalem may have been physically destroyed by the Romans but spiritually they have always remained perfectly intact. Through our 2,000 years of Exile Jews have never ceased praying in the direction of Zion, realising that while its buildings may have been destroyed, it's soul is ever present. So too, we say to the mourners: "While the body may have passed, the soul remains alive, and in a very real sense, is even more accessible after death. You can and should continue to communicate with your loved one wherever you are. He sees and hears you now, even more than when he was alive. His love towards you is greater and purer now than before, and so too your love towards him."

c) Although Zion (the Temple) may have been destroyed we unquestionably believe that it will be miraculously rebuilt as the Third Temple in the Messianic Era. So too, we say to the mourners: "Although your loved one's body may have returned to the earth, it will be miraculously come back to life at the time of the Messianic Resurrection (Techiat HaMeitim) - as stated in the Bible, the Talmud and in Rambam's 13th Principle of Faith. You will see your loved one again, not only in your mind's eye, but physically!"

As we approach Shabbat Nachamu - the Shabbat of Comfort - let's turn to Hashem in unison and ask that He hasten Moshiach so that as our Prophets have foretold, "those who reside in the earth will awaken and sing" the praises of G-D Al-mighty. 

With best wishes for a good, happy and comforting Shabbat, on behalf of the Rebbetzen and all of us at South Head

Rabbi Benzion Milecki

P.S. I will be remaining in Melbourne this Shabbos to give my mother - may she live a long, healthy and happy life - some comfort. 

Thu, 23 January 2020 26 Teves 5780

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