So long as everything is going well, we tend to simply accept the natural course of things. It’s as if everything good in our lives is expected, while the bad things demand an explanation. Looking back on the history of Israel, I often ask myself why did the chosen people have to endure so much evil and so many tragedies? Human understanding has no logical answer to this question. But perhaps we’re asking the wrong question.
A few weeks ago, Rona Ramon made me aware of the difference between lama and le’ma, “why” versus “what for.” In one of her last interviews, the wife of Israel’s first astronaut said that “it became clear to me that the question lama was pulling me under. There was no answer as to why my husband Ilan and my son Assaf lost their lives. I wouldn’t find any answer to that question.
That is why I am asking: le’ma? For what reason did this happen to me?”
In mid-December, Rona died of cancer at age 54. She leaves...
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