Thursday, February 22, 2007

the danger of trying to read G-d's mind

For those unconvinced of the hubris and downright danger of trying to read G-d's mind and attribute all kinds of disasters to consequences of the supposed sins of those with whom you disagree, read the following two articles, bolded emphasis my addition.

Dag posts the following article from the Jewish Press, reflecting on the fall from power of many of the Israeli political leaders who supported disengagement from Gush Katif:

One does not necessarily have to subscribe to the Divine Retribution analysis currently circulating in certain circles to be intrigued by the stunning fall from grace of so many Israeli officials on whose watch the Gush Katif tragedy took place.

Ariel Sharon, the architect of the plan, still lies in a coma – a fate many believe saved him from the ignominy of being prosecuted for financial wrongdoing. Ehud Olmert… [the article goes through a list of names, associating some wrongdoing and consequential punishment with each one.]

The breach of faith on the part of these officials and their cohorts was hardly limited to the deportations themselves or to the accompanying demonization of those who only sought to protect their homes and hold their government to its word. To this day, despite all of those official assurances that the displaced residents of Gush Katif would be resettled and accommodated, not a single displaced settler family has been relocated to a permanent home. Most of the displaced breadwinners are still unemployed and the initial financial payments have been spent for day-to-day survival in the absence of regular income. And many previously well-to-do settlers are being reduced to financial ruin.

Even those reluctant to acknowledge an otherworldly influence on human affairs should be fascinated by the turn of events outlined above. They should not have expected otherwise of the fortunes of those capable of such great national betrayal.

Compare that with the article Ynet News carries from B. Michael entitled “Is G-d a Leftist”, which compares the suffering of thousands of displaced settlers with the few leaders who have suffered setbacks:

Isn't the punishment of these thousands an act of God? Didn't he, with his very own finger, bring all these afflictions on them? Could there be another God working in the area serving the leftists?

Moreover, the five men of authority who were afflicted only account for five out of thousands who partook in the disengagement process. As these persons held posts of power it wasn't difficult to attach a small can of worms to each of them. Their affliction can therefore be attributed to that, rather than to the disengagement.

Contrary to them, nearly all the evacuated settlers suffered (besides those who decided not to suffer and managed quite well.) The avenging God didn't randomly choose five or six people from their ranks, but rather, struck at them all. Can anything clearer, more coherent, and more unequivocal than this be said?

It is worthwhile telling the community of revelers: If the heavy hand of God teaches us something about his opinions and stances – there is no doubt that he is a de facto leftist.


  1. I would make a Hiluk when the reading is done by a respected Talmid Hacham, as opposed to YNet, who are far from being that.

  2. kishnevi10:23 PM

    I would up the ante from yaak's proposal. Not just a respected Talmid Hacham, but a Nabi.

    Given the (apparent) level of personal corruption involved in the Israeli scandals, it would be easy to see Divine retribution at work: for the individual's own corruption.

  3. Bob Miller12:49 PM

    Regarding Ynet:
    If we threw in the towel every time it looked bad for us in this world, where would we be now? Would we be now?