A Holy Man in Afghanistan

Without warning, he was hit by a rocket.

Rabbi Aron Moss,

Judaism לבן ריק
לבן ריק
Arutz 7

My cousin tragically died from a Taliban rocket attack while operating with the Australian special forces in Afghanistan. We were very close and losing him has been really hard to take. One thing that has been hard to comprehend was the complete randomness of the incident. He was walking on his base and, without warning, he was hit by a rocket. The following day, his unit went into battle and were outstandingly successful and did not take any casualties.

It feels like a higher power just swooped down and took him. Could this be? Or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

My heart goes out to you and your family. What a tragedy.

Judaism teaches that a person who is killed by evil forces is called a Kadosh - a holy soul. He is now in the highest realm of the Garden of Eden. This may do little to comfort a family in pain, but at least we know that he is not in pain.

It is not our place to explain such horrific events. We can only mourn the loss of such a special soul and honour his memory. But one thing is clear: there are no coincidences. The world runs according to a Divine plan. We
Judaism teaches that a person who is killed by evil forces is called a Kadosh - a holy soul.
cannot know what that plan is or how events around us fit into that plan, but we know that things happen for a reason. The bizarre circumstances in which your cousin was killed leave us dumbfounded and confused, but they also leave us saying that there must be more to the story.

Our time in this world is only a small part of a big journey. Our souls began their journeys long before we were born and entered this world, and our souls continue the journey long after we die and leave this world. What happens to us in this short life cannot be looked at in isolation. You can't read one chapter in the middle of a long book and from there figure out the plot.

Some souls come into this world for a short time to fulfil a specific mission, and once their mission is completed they are taken back to where they came from. Some souls are taken early in order to be spared future pain and suffering. We can only guess. But we can be sure that the story is not over.

The soul itself is only too happy to leave this world. The soul is alien to a world of cruelty and physicality, and would much rather be in the spiritual realm of goodness above. It is we down here who feel the loss and pain of a soul who leaves us behind. But even this pain is only temporary. There will come a time when all souls will be reunited. In the end, we all go back home.

I must add one more point. These things should never be seen as Divine punishments. Judaism rejects the idea that G-d strikes down sinners. If He did that, it would be the murderers who would all die, not their victims. G-d forbid anyone should say that this tragedy was in any way a punishment. He was fighting for freedom and he died for it. Your cousin is a Kadosh.

I wish you and your family comfort and strength, and may you only know happiness and good things in the future.