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    Perfect Order

    The Chofetz Chaim gave the following mashal: There was a man visiting a distant city. Shabbos morning, he went to the community’s beis kneses and watched the gabai give out the aliyos. He felt that it was done unjustly. He thought, the aliyos should go to the scholarly, the people who are seated by the front wall. Or, if they want everyone to have a chance for an aliyah, then the aliyos should be given in order that the people are seated in the beis kneses. But this gabai is giving out the aliyos without any order at all. He called up a bachur for the first aliyah. Someone from the right side of the beis kneses was called for the second aliyah. An older person from the front of the beis medresh was called for shlishi. A middle age man, seated at the middle of the beis medresh, was called for revi’i. It seemed all wrong. It seems that the gabai was giving out the aliyos to his friends, and not to anyone else. After the tefillah, he said to the gabai, “You need to improve the way you run this shul. I watched how you gave out aliyos – and it wasn’t fair. Why do you only give your friends aliyos?…” The gabai told him, “You are new here and that’s why you don’t understand. There is an order and the aliyos are given out very fairly. In fact, every Friday afternoon, I carefully plan the aliyos, to give the aliyos to everyone who needs it. The young man who received the first aliyah is a cohen, so obviously, he deserves the first aliyah. The person, from the middle has yahrtzeit, so he also got an aliyah this Shabbos. I called up a scholar for shlishi, as you saw. I didn’t call up the person seated next to him, because his grandson is getting married in ten days and next Shabbos will be the kiddush. He will get an aliyah then… So you see, everything has a well thought out order, only you don’t know all the details and that’s the reason you didn’t understand.” The Chofetz Chaim said that the world is also run with an order; a very fair order. We shouldn’t ask questions about the way Hashem runs the world, because our questions are solely because we don’t know all the details, and because we don’t see the entire picture. It often seems like there’s no order. People don’t understand why one person has money and another person is poor; why some are healthy, while others are ill. Why some people suffer from one problem, while others are exempt from the problem. It doesn’t seem fair, but that is because we don’t know the entire picture. If we would know all the details, we would know that everything is exactly as it should be. In the Yom Kippur machzor, by Mussaf, there is a piyut which discusses the the ten Tana’im who were killed al kiddush Hashem. It states there that the resha’im chose to kill Reb Yishmael Cohen Gadol by skinning him alive. “The angels in heaven shouted bitterly, ‘Is this the reward for Torah study?’ A bas kol replied, ‘If I hear one more complaint, I will turn the world into water and into nothingness’”. The malachim wanted to know, ‘Is this the reward for Torah study? How can a Torah scholar, who studied so much Torah, have such a terrible end?’ But what did the bas kol answer? It seems that the bas kol only warned them not to speak about this question anymore. Reb Shlomo Kluger zt’l said that the bas kol answered the malachim’s question in a beautiful manner. Reb Shlomo Kluger explained it with a mashal: A prince invited government officials and his wealthy friends to a party he would be throwing. The prince bought expensive material, gave it to a Jewish tailor together with threads of gold and silver, and said, “Turn this into a beautiful suit for me to wear by the party.” The Jewish tailor put his heart and soul into the project and he produced a beautiful suit for the prince. By the party, the prince was very proud of his clothes, and everyone admired it, but they were also jealous. They said, “You gave the Yid much more material than we see in your suit. Do you think that he stole it? It was expensive material. Also, there are several gold and silver strings that are missing. I think you were robbed. The tailor took a large portion for himself. If he would have put it into the clothing, it would appear far better.” The next day, the prince summoned the tailor, and angrily he asked, “Where is all the material that I gave you? And where are all the gold and silver thread?” “Everything is in your clothes,” the tailor explained, “because a tailor needs to make several folds in the garment, in order to make a garment. I folded the material several times. It seems that there is material missing, but it is all within your clothes.” “You are lying,” the prince declared. “You stole it.” The tailor took a knife and began opening the seams. “What are you doing?” the prince shouted. “Before you stole and now you are ruining my garment.” The tailor explained, “You don’t believe my explanation, so I have no choice but to show you that all the material and threads are here. I am opening the folds, so you can see them.” Using this mashal, Reb Shlomo Kluger explained the bas kol’s answer. The malachim asked, “Is this the reward for studying Torah? How could such a thing occur to Reb Yishmael Cohen Gadol?” The bas kol replied, “If you won’t be quiet, I will return the world to the beginning of creation…” The bas kol was saying, “Everything Hashem does is just. If you don’t understand it, it is only because you don’t know all the details. If you refuse to believe, Hashem will return the world back to the beginning of creation, and show you how everything is exactly as it should. You don’t see the complete picture. If you would see more, you would understand that everything is just and correct.” In Ashrei, we say “Hashem guards all the people whom He loves, and He destroys all resha’im.” The Chofetz Chaim zt’l said, imagine what would happen if a person entered the beis medresh and heard someone say this passuk, but missed the first two words. It will sound to him like this, “All the people who Hashem loves, and all resha’im, Hashem destroys.” He will ask, “Is this justice? Why does Hashem destroy the tzaddikim?” Imagine what would happen if someone heard someone say the passuk, but he missed the final word. It would sound like this: “Hashem protects the people whom he loves, and the resha’im.” He will ask, “Why does Hashem protect the resha’im?” They ask these questions because they didn’t hear the entire passuk. Similarly, all questions in life are only because we don’t know the entire story. If we know all the details, we won’t have any questions at all.