Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Ellul 5760 - September 27, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
There is No Injustice

by L. Jungerman

"A G-d of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He."

This is the mitzva of this week's parsha, Ha'azinu. To see everything that happens about us and to believe that there is no iniquity, no bias. That Hashem is right and just. "Righteous are You, Hashem, and straightforward are Your judgments."

In his commentary to mishnayos, maseches Brochos, perek 9, the Rambam addresses such a coming to grips [with what we might think is harsh reality] and says: "[He is] a G-d of truth and without iniquity. And the ways of justice in Hashem's judgments are beyond man's grasp, for man's intellect is simply too limited to fathom Divine wisdom. The Torah has already stated this thought, that we cannot grasp G- dly wisdom nor G- dly justice in what He has wrought and will do. This is what is meant by: `For as the heavens are distant from the earth, so are My ways removed from your ways and My thoughts from your thoughts.' "

These concepts are Torah, and beg to be studied and understood. The Radak explains the verse at the end of Malachi, "Then did the devout of Hashem speak to one another." When those who fear Hashem hear that they cannot grasp the ways of Hashem and His judgment, they speak to one another and deal with it verbally, intensively, until they themselves come to the realization that, indeed, they see that all of His ways and judgments are true and just in every way.

When one tackles a difficult topic, one argues it up and down, from all angles, until it sits well in one's mind and all questions are duly resolved. So, too, must one study the ways of Hashem until one comes to the conclusion that they are, indeed, just and true.

We cannot presume to understand everything. But there is one thing that is clear: that if everything all about us is for our benefit, our welfare, to sustain us in this world, then surely, even what seems to us contrary to our well being, is not thus at all, but also for our good. The Maharal put an emphasis on this very point in his Shabbos Shuva drosho. It is written, "For is He not your Father, Who bought you; He made you and established you." He prepared every sort of goodness for them. If so, how can one suggest that Hashem visited troubles upon them that were unjustified? This is what the Ibn Ezra also said: Since He is a faithful, true G-d, it is impossible to impute injustice to Him.

But the fool cannot understand this. The fool, says the Chofetz Chaim, may look at an immense, sophisticated piece of machinery, and focus on one small screw and ask: What's this? As if everything else was clear to him. The wise man, on the other hand, gets tremendously frustrated at the hint that there exists something beyond his ken. Having considered himself knowledgeable up to this point, he suddenly discovers how much there is still to learn and how far removed he is from knowing it. The best step for him at this point is to keep his mouth shut.

Said R' Yirmiya ben Elozor: Come and see how different are Hashem's ways from those of mortals. When a person is sentenced to death by the government court, he has a fish hook put into his mouth so that he will not curse the king. But when man is sentenced to death by Hashem, he does not remonstrate, but remains silent, as it is written, "Silence is Your ultimate praise." Even more, Hashem is praised thereby, for it is written, `praise.' And still more, that he imagines that he is bringing a sacrifice to Hashem, as it is written, `To You shall vows be discharged' " (Eruvin 19).

This silence is thunderous. It is likened to the bringing of a sacrifice. What is that sacrifice? Understanding, and lack of understanding. Feeling. The suppression of that wish that things might have turned out the opposite. All these sentiments are laid upon the altar and sacrificed. Silence is His praise.

How fitting are the words of Tiferes Shlomo who says: "Dovid Hamelech asks: `You turned my mourning into dancing; You have loosened my sack cloth and girded me with gladness. So that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.' Master of the world: give me the ability to sing to You true praises [of recognition], not only the mute response of silence, like that of `And Aharon was silent' [after the painful death of his two sons]."

This is the prayer of every Jew during these Days of Awe.

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