Please excuse this letter and questioning. I mean you no disrespect. It’s just that I don’t get it.
I do not question your wisdom, omnipotence, or even the fact that you love all of your creations–especially Mankind. But I also know greater men than me questioned you. Abraham actually bargained you down. You said you would destroy Sodom if there were less than 50 good people there and he nudged and nudged till he got you down to ten, but alas there weren’t even ten good people there.
I am sure that there were great and learned Rabbis who, during the Holocaust simply looked up and screamed in your direction–asking just what the heck you are thinking. I thought the same thing during the Sbarro in Jerusalem, or when that hotel in Israel was bombed during the Passover Seder. I wanted to scream on 9/11 but because I was in Manhattan at the time I was too busy worrying about myself. During the Mubai attack and again when the Fogel family was murdered by terrorists and little children had their throats cut on Erev Shabbos, the happiest time of the week I couldn’t help but wonder how you would let that happen?
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For some reason today is worse. How could you let a man walk into an elementary school and kill 26 people–18 of them children. Any murder is bad but these were babies–kindergarten students. Kids like that just aren’t supposed to die–especially at the violent hands of a sick individual. The shooter may not have been legally insane, but anybody who would shoot five and six year old babies has something wrong with their brain. How could you create such a brain that would harm babies? The shooter was only 20-years-old, little more than a baby himself.
The Rabbi’s tell us that when the Torah explains that man is created in God’s image it is not teaching us that we look like you, or can do the stuff you can.
“Created in God’s image” is supposed to teach us that just as you are a free being, without prior restraint to do right and wrong, so are we. You, God do good–because it is your choice and because we are created your image we too can chose good….or bad.
The Rabbis also teach us that only through free choice, can man truly be in the image of God. It is further understood that for Man to have true free choice, he must not only have inner free will but exist in an environment which a choice between obedience and disobedience exists. They tell us that that’s the reason you created the world such that both good and evil can operate freely. You controls all the options we have, but it is up to us to pick between the correct or incorrect option.
But I am sorry God, I get the free choice thing…..but babies? Why didn’t you just make the guy have a fatal car accident on the way to the school? You already knew what was in his heart—you are God.
And its not like you don’t get involved either! Tomorrow we read from the Torah the part where Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream and goes from prison to prime minster. Joseph said it himself, it was you that gave him the power to interpret the dream. Without that power the Jews would have not gone in to slavery and there would have been on exodus. So you got involved then….why wont you get involved NOW?
I know I can never comprehend the reasons you let horrible things happen and you have their logical reasons. I guess if Joseph was never sold into slavery we would have never received the Torah at Mount Sinai. But Joseph wasn’t killed….these 18 kindergarten students were!
In just a few hours the sun will go down and the Sabbath will begin. You created Shabbos to rid ourselves of worldly concerns and create holy times…to studying and more importantly to be with family and friends. Please forgive me if I spend this Shabbos doing less studying and more time with my family. My babies are much older than the 18 who were killed today, but they are still my babies.
The Rabbi will probably give us a sermon trying to explain today’s strategy, but I know as learned as he is and as good as he can explain things, he will never be able to make me understand. Its not that I will go to sleep tonight loving you any less, or disbelieving the notion that the Torah you gave us is the road map to the way we should lead our lives, but at the same time I will continue to ask dear God, how did you let this happen?