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Baruch Dayan HaEmet

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Blessed is the Judge of Truth.

Since Talmudic times, this has been the appropriate response upon learning of the death of an individual. It is said without mention of God’s Name or Sovereignty…but we all know Who the Judge is.

It is a counterintuitive reaction. In loss, we want to point blame. We want to rail against the unfairness. Or to scream as a way of filling the silence. And yet our Tradition instructs us to bless the very One who gives (and takes) life.

When the horrific news finally came yesterday, I recited these words. And immediately thought of the now two year old son of the slain rabbi and his rebbetzin. And that is when the words truly made sense.

(For more thoughts on this tragedy, go to Here in HP, a Highland Park, New Jersey Blog.)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, 30 November 2008 4:31 am

    Thank you for the link, but even more for your thoughts on the phrase ‘Baruch Dayan HaEmet’. I read a blog post last night of someone who did just that, who needed to get out her anger for that phrase. It didn’t suit her. She expressed anger at many, many of God’s judgments (and there have been too many).

    I like the phrase “HaMakom Yinachem”, God will comfort.

  2. Sunday, 30 November 2008 5:28 pm

    It really is tragic.

  3. Lou permalink
    Tuesday, 2 December 2008 9:58 am

    Todah, thank you Frume Sarah for teaching me something new.
    I linked to your post from my blog.


  4. Frume Sarah permalink*
    Tuesday, 2 December 2008 12:16 pm

    Leora — Thanks. I too have always loved that phrase and actually use the whole “HaMakom” idea sometimes in daily prayer.

    Jack — ’nuff said.

    Lou — thanks for your comment. One correction — I actually did not intend my post to teach that “God has a greater plan” insofar as I don’t for one minute believe that God intended this tragic and horrific death. Rather, I saw God’s Involvement in the fact that their little boy was heroically saved from death. That, to me, was the palpable definition of God as the Eternal Judge.


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