Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yom HaShoah – Too Many Yissurin

Yom HaShoah is coming and I wanted to mention a powerful idea by the Esh Kodesh. In Parshat Chaye Sarah (1940), the Esh Kodesh discusses the death of Sarah Imenu. He starts with Rashi’s comment that explains that the fact that Sarah’s death is recorded next to the Akeidah teaches us that Sarah died when she heard that Avraham was taking Yitzchak to Har HaMoriah.

The Esh Kodesh expands on this idea to teach us about the concept of Yissurin – difficult events. Chazal often talks about Yissurin shel Ahavah, that there are difficult events that come from a place of love in order to make us better people. However, the Esh Kodesh explains that there can also be too many Yissurin that can damage a person.

Yissurin can be compared to salt and food. Just as a small amount of salt enhances the flavor of food; so too, a small amount of Yissurin enhances a person. And just as too much salt ruins the flavor of food; so too, too many Yissurin can ruin a person. The Esh Kodesh concludes that if Sarah, who according to Chazal lived a life without sins, can die because of the overwhelming Yissurin that were connected with the Akeidah. Then certainly we can be damaged by too much suffering. For me, this is an appropriate message for Yom HaShoah.


  1. Interesting post. For more information on this piece in the Aish Kodesh, see here:

  2. Boneh olamos u'machriv olamos...

    Maybe sometimes are person needs to be damaged in order to rebuild on a higher plane. Hashem yirachem.