The Master of Compassion


Rabbi David Ashear

The prophet Yeshayah (25:8) foresees the day when there will be no more death, and Hashem will wipe the tears from every face. The Talmud Yerushalmi explains this to mean that Hashem, personally, will come to each and every one of us in the future in all His splendor and glory, to console and comfort us for all the hardships and tragedies we have suffered. He will explain to each person why He needed to do what He did, and we will see very clearly how everything was done with only love and compassion.

Elsewhere, Hashem tells us (Yeshayah 51:12), that He is the One Who will come to console us. He will comfort us as a mother comforts her child.

A man once came to the Kotzker Rebbe crying uncontrollably after the death of his daughter. The Rebbe said to him, “Your pain is deeper than the deepest ocean. Only Hashem, the Master of compassion, is capable of consoling you.”

We live during a difficult time period when tragedies are prevalent and we are all in need of comfort from the Master of compassion. We do not and cannot understand. Hashem’s ways are hidden and often inexplicable. Yet, we must realize that even when tragedy occurs it is the will of Hashem.

There was once a Rosh Yeshivah whose daughter died tragically, and the Rosh Yeshivah was plagued by guilt, feeling that he was to blame as he could have prevented the tragedy. The Hazon Ish told him, “There is nothing you could have done. Everything is in Hashem’s hands. The causes are irrelevant.”

Hashem has an infinite number of ways to execute His will.

But, how is this possible? Hashem is so merciful. How could He do these things?

The Gemara comments (Moed Katan 27b) that when people are crying over a loved one’s death, and we feel sympathy for the grieving family, Hashem tells us, “You are not more compassionate than I am.” And thus the Torah introduces certain laws relevant to mourning  by saying (Devarim 14:1), “You are sons of Hashem your Gd.” Even when tragedy strikes, this is being done by our loving, compassionate Father. Although we do not understand, even what appears tragic is truly an act of mercy and love. The pasuk says in Yeshayah (63:9), that when a person is in pain, Hashem also experiences pain, as it were.

Still, one might ask, isn’t Hashem capable of obliterating all pain? Why doesn’t He see to it that there is no more pain in this world?

Apparently, even the tragedies and suffering are also in fact acts of kindness, and Hashem is willing to endure pain, so to speak, in order to bestow this hidden kindness.

The same loving and merciful Gd Who brings beautiful children into the world also brings them into Gan Eden. The day will come when families will be reunited – children with parents, and parents with children. Until then, we need to beg the Master of compassion for solace and consolation, to work to improve ourselves, and to find comfort in deepening our connection with our Father in heaven.