Thursday, January 6

After the Wave, Shallow and False

Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein rejects moral, philosophical and religious pretentiousness. We simply don't know why God sends tsunamis. (Full transcript, click here.)
Some people concern themselves with the question of why it happened, voicing opinions on why the tragedy occurred specifically in that place and that time. These same people, in different circumstances, also explain why infants and young children die. Apparently, they consider themselves experts in the ways of Divine Providence. We must distance ourselves completely from such shallow and false answers...
We have no business explaining, or pretending to explain, things that cannot be explained. We must remember Chazal's teaching concerning Bilam, who thought that he understood God's supreme wisdom. The Gemara derides him: "This person, who claimed to know God's mind--could he not understand his donkey's mind?" This pretentiousness--moral, philosophical and religious pretentiousness--we totally reject.

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