Why did the author of Mesillas Yesharim die when he was 40 years old? Wasn’t he a great tzaddik?
Now I’m not capable of explaining the darkei Hashem. But one thing we have to know – we’ve mentioned this more than once. The Yerushalmi tells about Rabi Bun. Rabbi Bun passed away at 28. So they said about him mesukah shenas haoved im me’at im harbeh yochel – sweet is the sleep of this man who was a servant whether he ate much or little. That means Rabbi Bun in his 28 years accomplished as much as others in a long lifetime.
Sometimes Hashem intends tzaddikim or other people to live a short time. That explains many times things that happen, mysterious things. They weren’t created to live long. That’s all that was allotted to them. Why? That’s His business. He knows what to do. Maybe He wants people to ask kashas. Maybe He wants people to have pity on them. Whatever it is, Hashem has a plan.
Now sometimes when people understand that life is not guaranteed, when they see that others die young, it’s a big benefit for the world. The Gemara says shuv yom echad lifnei misascha – you should repent one day before you die. So the gemara asks, does a man know when he’ll die? And it says there, kol sheken yashuv hayom shema yamus lemachar – You’re right! So do teshuva today in case you don’t wake up tomorrow.
So when people become aware that life sometimes suddenly ends chalilah there’s a benefit there. Many times people suddenly go out of the world. There was a man driving his car, a young man, and he was passing under an overpass and a big block of cement had worked its way loose and fell on him just as he was passing under the overpass. It extinguished his life in a second. Nobody can know. Ki lo yeida ha’adam es ito – nobody knows his time.
So these people are so aware of that, that they try their best to accomplish all they can. And Rabi Bun was like that. He didn’t wait and he accomplished in his 28 years a tremendous amount. The Mesillas Yesharim made such wonderful golden chiburim, more than others who lived ten times as long. Even – I don’t want to say a certain tzaddik who lived 400 years ago – but who knows if he accomplished more than the Mesillas Yesharim. The Mesillas Yesharim is a tremendous achievement that has caused the world so much profit. And so in the world of reward, there’s no question that the Mesillas Yesharim is a capitalist. He has accomplished more than most people who have lived long lives and he’s reaping his reward.
TAPE # 906