The Jewish Eye
To Heaven and Back
It was a long week of Shiva for the family of one of the great Tzaddikim of our generation that had just passed away. Although he wasn't young, losing a husband, a father, grandfather is never easy especially when his kind ways and angelic disposition lit up the atmosphere whenever he was present. His exemplary tziddkus provided a shining example for his children, grandchildren, talmidim, and the entire community. The loss was hard.
During the Shiva many gedolim and ordinary people came by to pay tribute to this great tzaddik. They told of personal stories that no one even knew before. Gedolim tzaddikim b'misasam yoser mi'chayeyhem." Tzaddikim are even greater in their death than in their lifetime. The stories were new, but yet they came as no surprise to all those who understood that in his humbleness he was far greater than he ever revealed.
The Shiva was over and it was time to move on. It was time to face the future; time to follow in his footsteps and fill the great void of his absence. Time for all but his wife, the widowed Rebbetzin. Fearing loneliness at here advanced age, she just couldn't come to terms with the fact that her husband, her friend, her support system, her personal tzaddik was no longer there for her. Her children of course tended to her every need and tried to console her and help her stay focused on the present.
Not only were they not successful but her frame of mind was rapidly deteriorating. One day her son came into the house and found her looking around the house and searching every room calling out for her husband. That day a family meeting was called to discuss this troubling event. All the children decided that they will create a schedule where one of them will always be with their mother until the situation improves. Over the next few weeks each one spent many hours with their mother constantly trying to help her face reality to no avail. Her walking around the house calling for her husband became more and more frequent.
One day when her son came in to take his turn staying with her, he found her in midst of her now regular routine of checking the rooms to see if her husband returned from wherever he had gone. Feeling very frustrated he turned to his mother and said, "Mother, remember how when Tatty was alive his holy spirit made him constantly yearn to be with Hashem?" "Of course" replied his mother. "Tatty was a tzaddik. His whole life was dedicated to serving Hashem and getting as close to him as humanly possible." "Well" said the son "You know that a few weeks ago Tatty was invited by Hashem to come to Shamayim. Now that he is with Hashem do you think he really plans on coming back?"
"You are absolutely right" replied the Rebbetzin as she burst out in tears and started crying on her son's shoulder. Boruch Hashem she lived happy years after that and had much nachas from all her grandchildren and... from the memory of her holy husband.
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