Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Uriel Peretz, son of Aaron and Yehudit Joni Liwerant. “My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices” (Shir Hashirim 6:2). The Holy Zohar writes: Hashem searches in his garden for the best and spiciest best fruits, picks them and brings them up to heaven with him. And we, down on earth, kick and scream: Razi li, razi li (?) Why? Why! And the answer is, a silent heaven, a gloomy heaven. That’s the way it is. But we also say: “Happy is the people to whom that is the case (Tehillim, 144:15). And yesterday, I understood the meaning of this phrase.When I heard the bad news, I hurried to the house and talked to Aaron, who spoke about his son’s devotion, his love of torah, how easygoing Uriel was; how quiet Uriel was, how Uriel never criticized anything, about how much he loved to learn. Aaron mentioned that Uriel had some leave coming to him and asked permission to stay in the yeshiva to learn instead of coming home.
And afterwards, I called Joni. She asked me about the halachot and I explained that between death and the burial you cannot do any mitzvot. No blessings can be said: no blessings after the meal, no washing hands with a blessing, no prayer. I also explained to her that according to my teacher and Rabbi, Rav Soloveichik — may his memory be blessed — that Hashem gives the mourner the opportunity to get angy at him and not do mitzvot, even emphatically (?) And Joni said to me: ‘Rav, that’s not the way I feel. I had such a good gift from Hashem. This, too, is for the good.’ At that moment, I remembered the famous story of Rav Meir and Bruria, when she had to tell him that his two children died. she said to him: ‘I had two very dear ornaments as a deposit and now the depositor wants them back. I don’t want to give them back.’ And R’ Meir explained that they must be returned. And so I understood from what Joni said: ‘Happy is the people to whom that is the case.’
And I believe, that we learn also from our children and it seems to me that Aaron and Joni and the sisters, grandmothers – all learned from Uriel. – כמים אל מים הפנים
. They learned and he prepared them, trained them with his serenity, with his desire to fulfill his job, with his smile, with his love, with his compliance, without feeling sorry for himself or complaining.
He taught and prepared and teaches and prepares. Because now, in the heavenly academy, he’ll do what he loved more than anything, and he loved all parts of life. The smile will be an eternal smile, and the Torah that he so wanted to learn. He will become our heavenly advocate and with the help of Hashem he will teach us how to accept, how to caress, not to complain, but to love continually, how to try to do the job laid out for us.
May it be Hashem’s will that Uriel’s memory be blessed forever and ever.