A terrible crush links these 4 tragedies:
- the Meron crush
- the bleacher collapse in Yerushalayim
- the cable car crash in Italy which killed 3 generations of a Jewish family, leaving only 5-year-old Eitan Moshe Biran alive (Eitan Moshe ben Tal, for davening)
- and now the building collapse in Miami (which hosts one of America's larger & more vibrant Jewish communities)
The sinkhole in the parking lot of Shaarei Tzedek hospital can also be included because it featured a collapse that would've crushed people had it occurred only a few minutes later.
In Hashem's great chessed, He orchestrated the sinkhole in way which only damaged cars, not people. But the idea of collapse & crush remains, and cannot be coincidental to the timing of other recent collapses & crushes.
Tehillim should be said & we should all take some kind of loving, compassionate stock of ourselves to see what we can improve—maybe dig just a centimeter deeper than normal.
Gleaning Guidance in Teshuvah from Rabbi Alon Anava's Near-Death-Experience & His Response to It
He smoked cigarettes, but instead of stamping them out, he let them go out on their own.
Prior to Shabbat, he drove an hour to buy kosher wine for Kiddush, but still went out afterwards on Friday nights.
A more knowledgeable friend labeled this negatively, but based on what Rabbi Anava experienced in Shamayim, Rabbi Anava explained his behavior with the parable of a baby.
If a kindergartner runs around, no one gets excited. Completely normal for a kindergartner's development, it would be worrisome if he wasn't able to run around.
However, if a 6-month old baby jumped up & started running around, everyone would be shocked. People would film the baby & be talking about it all over the world.
The young Rabbi Anava explained that in Shamayim, they viewed him as that baby.
Formerly a drug-imbibing foul-mouthed tattooed atheist who grew up in Eretz Yisrael trapped in radical secularism, Rabbi Anava never experienced a Pesach Seder until his NDE. (That's really shocking because Pesach is so much in the air here. Around the world, even fairly secular—including intermarried—Jews celebrate Pesach.)
His grandfather put tefillin on Rabbi Anava for his bar mitzvah and that was it for tefillin until his soul left his body, then came back from the Heavenly Court.
Even though so many baalei teshuvah take on more of Shabbat & do so faster than Rabbi Anava initially did, his background & conditioning made taking on mitzvot much more challenging than for other people.
So based on his experience in Shamayim, he felt sure the baby-steps he took resembled a 6-month-old super-baby who suddenly jumped up & started running around.
(That story starts at 1:20:00 in this video: video-tov.ml/watch/TSGXKdgZgTw.)
Needless to say, he continued until he became a particularly devoted religious Jew who now lives with his wife & children in Tzfat, and he himself teaches Torah.
Recently, I read that just by learning a halacha day in whatever area you choose sweetens the judgment over you.
By learning the halachot of lashon hara or tsniyut (dressing & behaving with dignity) or Shabbat, you are considered as fulfilling them even if you haven't perfected your execution of these mitzvot.
This idea is further explained by Rav Eliyahu Dessler in Strive for Truth!
You can see a post on this invaluable idea here: how-the-baby-steps-in-this-world-create-your-future-world-of-beautiful-pulsating-light.html.
Just by STARTING, you create a cord that connects you to the achievement of its ultimate goal, and you are seen in a completely different & infinitely better light in Shamayim.
So when people start urging teshuvah in the face of a disaster, please know you needn't overwhelm yourself or feel defeated before you even start.
You can do tiny acts—and you needn't feel like a hypocrite or a loser for taking such babyish steps!
Update on Cholim
The last update I heard about Elozor ben Reuma (June 8) described him in stable condition and partially weaned from his ventilator, but his situation remains severe and he desperately needs out continued tefillot.
I'm indebted to a very special caring person who keeps many of us alert to daven for new cholim & keeps us appraised (as much as she can) on their different situations.