On Friday morning I am told the news that Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife, along with several other Jews who had been in the Chabad House, had been slain. May G–d avenge their blood.
As soon as I recover from the initial shock, the kashes, the questions against G–d, start to arise. How could this happen ... ? As usual, there are no answers. I look in the faces of those around me and I see the same incredulity, confusion, and deep sadness.
However, by Divine Providence I read a story on Shabbos that I already knew; however, this time I see deeper meaning than I had seen before, that in a way addresses my questions.
As a child studying Chumash, the Ruzhiner would always ask Rashi’s question before learning the commentary of Rashi. When his teacher taught him the verse, “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder was set up on the earth, and the top reached the heaven, and angels of G–d were rising and descending” (Bereishis 28:12), the teacher waited to hear the Ruzhiner ask Rashi’s question: Shouldn’t the order be reversed? Don’t angels descend from heaven, and then rise? But the Ruzhiner was silent. The teacher prodded the Ruzhiner, “Why aren’t you asking Rashi’s question here?” The Ruzhiner answered, “One doesn’t ask questions on a dream.”
In a dream, inexplicable things happen. Dreams don’t have to make sense.
Our golus, exile, is compared to a dream. We may understand some events now and then, but we shouldn’t expect to, or be surprised if we don’t.
Only when Moshiach comes will we understand the reason for the suffering of exile and declare, “I thank you, Hashem, for you were angry with me” (Yeshaya 12:1). Until then, “One doesn’t ask questions on a dream.”