Hashem Natan VaHashem Lakah
The Chicago Jewish community has been gripped for the past 10 days or so with the story of a toddler who contracted a rare and deadly virus and suffered (לא עלינו) damage to his brain.
Modern Uberdox has been doing a good job keeping us informed of notices about prayers on his behalf.
Unfortunately, Menashe Koppel Cohn, son of Todd and Naomi Cohn, succumbed to the virus and was Niftar on Wednesday night.
I know Todd from the Yeshiva, and as Modern Uberdox pointed out, Todd and Naomi "are an amazing couple that have devoted themselves to kiruv."
In fact, you can see how amazing they are from the letter they wrote on their Facebook group page before he was Niftar. We also see it from the Machsom L'fi Facebook group they started and continue in his memory.
This story is very tragic, but there's more to the story on a personal level. The day Koppie Cohn, A"H, was first taken to the hospital was Monday morning, June 15th. What I was told was that one of his first symptoms before being taken to the hospital was a seizure. Monday afternoon, June 15th, while at work, I got a call from my wife, who received a call from the babysitter saying that our son, who is about the same age as Koppie Cohn was, had had a seizure and an ambulance was called. I rushed to the hospital and our son did not look well at all. However, with Hashem's merciful kindness, our son recuperated quickly thereafter, Baruch Hashem, and came home the same night. We found out later that both boys were taken to the same hospital.
So, although we aren't that close to the Cohns, their tragedy has hit us very hard and has literally shaken us, as if Hashem is sending us a message. I'm sure the entire Chicago is shaken by this, but after what happened to our son, we feel it especially. Why a toddler died is not for us to know - הנסתרות לה' אלקינו. That which is לנו ולבנינו עד עולם is, "Are we getting the message?" Although the message still requires deciphering, it has been received.
May we know no more sorrow ומחה ה' דמעה מעל כל פנים.