December 30, 2004
January 14, 2010
· Published January 14, 2010
April 5, 2005
· Published April 5, 2005
June 12, 2006
· Published June 12, 2006
· Last modified June 13, 2006
I mean no disrespect to R. Kadourie, but unfortunately the typical response by many
Orthodox Jews to tragedy (especially by those not personally affected) seems to be
an explanation that it really has a higher purpose which we purport to understand
and/or that the whole event was actually a great miracle because some people survived.
Is it heretical to simply say that Hashem has control over everything, but that He
usually allows the world to operate b’derech hatevah, too often resulting in personal and
Joe, I don’t think it is heretical. I think it is paradoxical. In regard to the holocaust, Rav Aharon Soloveitchik ZTL’ disscussed a nesivous in eicha on the pasuk mepe elyon lo sazte haros vlatov. He talks about natural disasters. This nesivos is also quoted in english in “Logic of the heart, Logic of the Mind”. In any event it would be considered a point of hester panim. Without divine intervention, accordingly, there would be tremendous disasters occuring regularly. Therefore, what Rav Kaduri is saying makes perfect sense. We must try our best to uncover the hester panim through our teshuva. I don’t think you understood what Rav kaduri is saying. Everything that occurs in this world has a supernatural entity because hashem is Machadesh Bchol Yom Masseh Breishis. I hope my comment clarifies this inyan.
On a slightly more cynical note, when I was in Israel several years ago and earthquwake hit. It was centered in Egypt but gave EY a good shaking as well. Within a day or two the press was reporting that Rav Kaduri [and, if not mistaken some autistic kid] had predicted this, and told us that it was sign that the Geula was nigh. Perhaps we were just not zoche that that earthquake would bring the geula, and we had to wait for this one.
I’m not sure how many Orthodox Rabbonim purport to understand why things happen. Particularly in times of tragedy, I have heard Rabbonim say that they do not understand why certain those things happen. I have also seen certain Rabbis (Rav Ovadiah Yosef comes to mind) as being misquoted and taken out of context as claiming to have the explanation for certain events, like the Holocaust.
As to your point about Hashem’s control, there is a Medrash in Beraishis Rabbah that says that Hashem causes each and every individual blade of grass to grow. We also know that “everything is in the hands of G-d, except for fear of Heaven” HaKol B’Dai Shamayim Chutz M’Yiras Shamayim. I don’t know how we could say that Hashem “lets” anything happen. Seems like “causes” would be a better term.
I did not makes this up. Its from the nesivous. You could look it up. He discuusses this mamar chazal and basicly I outlined what he said. At times of hester ponim he does not decree these evil events, he lets teva run its own course w/o any interference. So, if you want to learn more you can also find this in “Logic of the heart Logic of the mind.” Also, a good idea would be to look up the sources first and then critique/analize them. (for the record, Rav Aharon ZTL’ DID NOT claim to offer an understanding of why the holocaust happened).