Chesed Shel Emes and the VT Massacre

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AP will likely not pick up the moving story, reported on Yeshiva World, of the mobilization of forces to provide the final tribute to Prof. Librescu.

If only we were half as good in our kavod ha-chayim as with our kavod ha-mesim

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6 Responses

  1. Jacob Haller says:

    It’s not entirely unreasonable to interpret “If only we were half as good….” as a gratuitous and negative generalization but perhaps we should be Dan L’Kaf Z’chus
    (assume best of intenstions) to Rabbi Alderstein. I doubt the Rabbi would deny the existence of chesed organizations who treat those in need with ways that bear a closer resemblence to Malachim (angels) than to humans. Remarks of this kind echo the type of language often portrayed in some of harder hitting Sifrei Musar; not directed at 100% of the audience 100% of the time but we can walk away with something worthwhile.

  2. mr says:

    I wonder if Rabbi Alderstein’s comment can be portrayed as gratuitous. We all know of the tremendous chessed that various organizations and individuals for others 24/7. From those who answer medical issues at any time of the day to the countless volunteers who do chessed for others without any fanfare.Rabbi Alderstein probably meant how we can change our overall discourse and concern between one another, but to whitewash everybody and everything with one broad stroke is a strecth.

  3. SM says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. And I’m not sure this is to be regarded as negative. It is a tribute to the niftar that we treat his death as an ocassion to examine ourselves and our behaviour. If ever a neshama deserved that sort of help it’s here.

  4. a k says:

    “If only we were half as good in our kavod ha-chayim as with our kavod ha-mesim…”

    Was this negative comment really necessary?

    The same point could have been made in a positive way by saying: We should learn a powerful lesson in kavod habriyos, both chayim and mesim, from these wonderful people who brought great honor to Hashem through their public kavod hamais.

    I am, admittingly, being picayune. I really always appreciate Rabbi Adlerstein’s insightful commentaries.

  5. David says:

    “If only we were half as good in our kavod ha-chayim as with our kavod ha-mesim…”

    I recall hearing a certain contemporary Rosh Yeshiva in Israel tell that he was once in the hospital and shared a room with an elderly, dying man who had no friends or relatives. Nobody came to visit him, but then when he died, the chevra kadisha rushed in to take care of the body. This Rosh Yeshiva lamented the fact that nobody cared to help the man while he was alive, but were so zealous to care for his body after death.

    It is truly a shame.

  6. Steve Brizel says:

    Today’s NY Times had a moving article about the levayah of Professor Librescu, HaShem Yimkam Damo.