It’s just impossible to accept the tragic news and the great loss of a very close friend A Yedid Emes for almost fifty years, as Rabbi Levy wrote to me for my fiftieth birthday (10 years ago) and I quote “As a friend for almost 40 years I can say I am proud to be called a friend. I have learned much from you Shimon during this period….” Not to mention how much Rabbi Levy guided me even before I entered the kashrus world, as a very young boy, and then as bochur in 770 [Lubavitch Headquarters] (learning sichos together every Friday night) and as a teacher and mentor in the kashrus world, how many hours we spent together, meeting, talking, discussing about everything and anything; it is unimaginable to think of all this as in the past… What a great man.
There are no words and feelings to describe the shock and pain of the great loss of [Rabbi Levy], so young, so active, and so important, the driving force and centerpiece of his family, and the head of the OK Kosher Family. He was a great man full of love and respect to all mankind, and when we needed some good advice he was always there for us.
Our Sages teach us that there are two kinds of G-dly secrets in the world, some that he allowed mankind to discover and somehow understand, and some that mankind has no access of understanding.
The Secrets of the Torah (although it’s G-d’s wisdom) can be discovered through learning, searching and deep study. The Secrets of the World, G-d kept to Himself, and they remain unknowable to humankind, like it says in the prayer on Rosh Hashanah “Ata Yodeah Razie Olam”—You know the secrets of the world.
One may ask and should ask, and in this tragedy one must ask, “Why did this tragedy happen?” We turn to Hashem and try to understand. “Lama Asa Hashem Kachah?” Knowing that Avraham Avinu asked Hashem for a sign before leaving this world, and that Hashem brought to the world the potential to live to an old age (Rabbi Levy was young man of 72), Yaakov Avinu asked for an added sign, and Hashem brought sickness into the world (Rabbi Levy had been in perfect health).
Why did G-d let such an act happen? The answer is, it’s part of the secrets of the world along with many other unanswered questions about suffering and pain that G-d did not share and allow to be revealed.
The shiva and shloshim periods have ended, and normal life must go on, which we shall continue with the living legacy and especially the olam
hakashrus that was so near to Rabbi Levy’s heart, whilst continuing the good deeds and kindness and love that he shared with all those that were in his company and his kosher policies. Surely his pure soul will shine upon his family and on myself and the entire Klal Yisroel.
Rabbi Shimon Lasker is a Rabbinic Coordinator at OK Kosher Certification