Departing at a Holy Moment, in a Holy Place




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    Departing at a Holy Moment, in a Holy Place

    On Lag B’Omer, the forty-five holy neshamas who were returned to their Maker at the crowd crush in Meron are remembered. Nothing is ever random, these were souls who were handpicked by Hashem to learn in shamayim with Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai, and to cry out, “Ad Masai?!” for our immediate geula By Sara Gopin, Beis Moshiach Magazine • Full Article

    By Sara Gopin, Beis Moshiach Magazine 

    On Lag B’Omer, the forty-five holy neshamas who were returned to their Maker at the crowd crush in Meron are remembered. Nothing is ever random, these were souls who were handpicked by Hashem to learn in shamayim with Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai, and to cry out, “Ad Masai?!” for our immediate geula.

    I had the zechus of attending an event for women in which Rebbetzin Freida Tzarfati, whose husband Rav Moshe Simcha ben Yisroel obm was one of the Kedoshei Meron, shared her story. Instead of keeping to herself after her life had been shattered, she is doing just the opposite. Rebbetzin Freida goes to many different communities of women throughout Eretz Yisrael to give them chizuk. Her goal is that every single participant will be inspired to take upon themselves good resolutions that will hasten the Geula.

    Twice there was Salvation

    “It’s not easy for me as the yahrzeit of my husband approaches,” Rebbetzin Freida shares openly. “But I know that every neshama is given its particular shlichus, and that this world is like a corridor before reaching olam haba.” She goes on to tell us that twice in his lifetime her husband underwent a life-threatening experience, and merited tremendous yeshuot. “We were a young couple, living in Rishon L’Tzion, and were strengthening our observance of Torah and mitzvos. One day, when my husband was on the way to Tzfas for work purposes, his car stalled by the Golani junction, which is in the north. After maneuvering it to the side of the highway, he got out and was suddenly struck by a bus that was speeding by. The collision was so forceful that my husband was flung high into the air and then landed in a groove of the field next to the highway. He sustained severe injuries all over his body, and it looked like it was the end… An ambulance arrived and whisked him away to the hospital. I received an urgent call and rushed to be by his side, gasping at the sight of his mangled body.”

    Rebbetzin Freida pauses wistfully, and then continues, “B’chasdei Hashem, after six months of rehabilitation, my husband was able to leave the hospital and come home. A year later, while he still had a broken leg, we moved to Yerushalayim, which had always been his dream. After four years of treatment, baruch Hashem my husband regained his ability to walk. He then received a position as a rabbi in the Nachal HaCharedi, the religious division of the IDF. The soldiers really loved him, he was always giving them warm, fatherly embraces, and catered to their needs. He gave over numerous shiurim, through which he brought a lot of hearts closer to HaKadosh Boruch Hu.

    “After my husband’s rehabilitation we had many good and happy years together. Since he was always especially connected to the Rashbi, we often spent Shabbos in Meron, so that we could daven at his holy gravesite. Those were the most joyous Shabbosos for us. My husband would always say that we can ‘trust’ Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, ‘by him’ prayers are answered.”

    “Meeting” the Rashbi

    I watched an amazing clip in which Rav Moshe Simcha Tzarfati spoke about his experience of clinical death after his accident, emphasizing that he was healed through the power of prayer. He said that upon crashing to the ground his neshama was suctioned upwards to shamayim, where there was a vast divine illumination. Afterwards he met the Rashbi, who embraced him and gave him chizuk, saying, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be alright. I took care that your accident occured close to where I am, and that you are near me, so that I would be able to watch over you.’ Then Rav Tzarfati saw the Rashbi dance in the most amazing way that no words could ever describe, jumping and elevating his legs, until he went upwards, higher and higher towards the moon, and disappeared.

    Unable to Annul the Decree

    Rebbetzin Freida continues her story, “Three years ago, when the first wave of the corona pandemic was at its peak, my husband contracted the virus and was hospitalized with serious complications. But, once again, Hashem miraculously healed him, and one month later he returned home, even happier than his usual cheerful nature. Afterwards we had the most beautiful year, going out together on numerous occasions, and taking trips too. It was truly wonderful…” When everything is so idyllic, who would ever believe what was about to happen next?

    Rebbetzin Freida gathers the strength to talk about that fateful day. “We went together to celebrate Lag B’Omer in Meron. I was on the bus for the women, my husband went with the men, and we met before the bonfires began. Afterwards I went back home, and did not find out about the tragedy until the morning, when I was notified that my husband was among those who had perished.” It’s hard for her to continue, but she does, “When I heard this, I understood that this time I had to receive the news after the fact, unlike the other times when I was given the ability to annul the decree through my prayers.

    “Everyone has a date that’s their time to depart from the world, and we do not know the ‘accounts’ of shamayim. Sometimes there is a decree on a person to leave this world, ch”v, but they are awarded another year, or a few years, of ‘chesed’ in order to be able to earn additional merits for their soul. My husband’s neshama left this world at a holy moment in a holy place, pure and untainted.

    “His funeral was on Motzaei Shabbos, and was attended by thousands of people, among them rabbis and admorim. Everyone was in their Shabbos clothes, and it almost looked like a wedding, not as a regular funeral. They all came to be with us, to embrace us, and to give us love.”

    A Wish Fulfilled

    Rebbetzin Freida has nachas as she tells us about the forty-five Sifrei Torah written in the merit of each of the Kedoshei Meron. “Before my husband passed away he wanted very much to donate another Sefer Torah, but I discouraged him because of the enormous expense. Yet, in shamayim it was decreed differently, and his wish became a reality.” This past year, on Hei Cheshvan, there was the most joyous Hachnasas Sefer Torah in Rav Tzarfati’s zechus. It began in the family’s home in Geula, and hundreds of participants joined the jubilant procession to the Chut Shel Chesed yeshiva of Rav Sholom Arush, where it was donated.

    “My husband was a simple man who loved everyone, and was loved by all,” Rebbetzin Freida shares. She adds, “Each neshama is a diamond! The time has come for us to rid ourselves of every trace of hatred and competition, to have a bright countenance one for another, and to always, always give in! Most importantly, we should daven for each other, which is the highest form of giving! You should do your part, and Hashem will do his part, and may everything be with kindness and mercy, and good in a way that we can understand!”

    Rebbetzin Freida is very emotional as she emphasizes that we should speak to Hashem on a regular basis. It makes us closer to Him, and arouses our desire to do His will, the mitzvot. She concludes, “‘Ein od milvado’ isn’t just a motto on a sticker, it’s the absolute truth! Hakadosh Boruch Hu is with us at every moment! The power of prayer will bring light where there is darkness, open what is sealed, and we will merit all of the yeshuot. Just speak to Hashem!

    Contact Sara Gopin via email at: [email protected]


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