Sunday, January 18, 2009

lev melachim b'yad Hashem

Last night when I read of Israel's unilateral cease fire I could not help but think (as I have written here before) that undoubtedly "lev melachim b'yad Hashem". Time after time the government of Israel does things that no rational government on Earth would consider doing. In the face of an enemy which openly declares their refusal to cease hostility, an enemy which has openly declared the destruction of Israel as one of its aims, an enemy which even as Israel handed it a cease fire continued to lob mortar shells and rockets at Israeli cities, our government decided to give up the fight with the enemy on the ropes and give them a chance to take a breath and catch a second wind. Insanity! The only possible explanation is that "Kach alah b'machashava lefanei", this is G-d's inscrutable will, and "lev melachim b'yad Hashem", this is Hashgacha pratis in action.

10 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:23 AM

    why do you think their bechira is taken away and it's god's doing?

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  2. and when they do smart things...?

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  3. >>>and when they do smart things...?

    halevai it should happen and then we'll talk about it : )

    >>>why do you think their bechira is taken away

    Malbi"m (Mishlei 21:1) explains that since through their bechira the masses are affected and not just their personal lives Hashem exerts more control.

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  4. Anonymous8:38 PM

    but does malbim say that ALWAYS happens? Malbim is just explaining the posuk, why god sometimes does this. I'm asking what evidence is there that this decision is not in their hands? To put it differently, do you think netanyahu would have done the same thing if he were in office? You'd have to say he would if it's god's doing and not olmert/livni/etc

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  5. Anonymous8:40 PM

    ...and if so, why vote anyone in or out of office?

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  6. >>>...and if so, why vote anyone in or out of office?

    Good question... I need to think about it.

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  7. I think the answer is that the bechira of a yachid cannot affect the klal, but the klal's own bechira does affect their fate. When a general election is held and the klal makes a choice for Ploni1 as opposed to Ploni2, then Hashem leads them in the derech of their choice.

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  8. Anonymous5:37 PM

    Does Lev Malochim V'Sorim apply to local elected officials?Whan I see them do stupid things to pander, I'm very hard pressed to look at them as being 'Sorim'.

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  9. Anonymous3:47 AM

    "I think the answer is that the bechira of a yachid cannot affect the klal, but the klal's own bechira does affect their fate. When a general election is held and the klal makes a choice for Ploni1 as opposed to Ploni2, then Hashem leads them in the derech of their choice."

    How does that allow you to say that the decision to stop the war is lev melachim byad hashem and not the leaders or choice of leaders? Is it shocking that Olmert (and livni and barak) ended the war before accomplishing more? Is this not consistent with their prior actions?! The only surprise is that they went in at all, isn't it? and that they probably needed to do if they wanted to have a prayer in the election, unfortunately. The public is not behind the end of the war and they weren't behind the disengagement in the first place, so one can't say that was due to the klal's wish.
    I think you are taking a statement that means *sometimes* lev melachim byad hashem and trying to insist that every decision is byad hashem. this one may be, and it may not be, no?

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  10. The Meshech Chochmaa in his intro to Sefer Shmos writes that Moshe Rabeinu had no bechira. What if Hashem told Moshe to ascend to Har Sinai to get the Torah and Moshe exercised his bechira and refused - do you mean that klal yisrael would miss kabbalas haTorah through Moshe Rabeinu (and davka his neshoma was capable of kabbalas haTorah in the way it happened; for someone else to step in would be a different animal completely)? You mean the tzibur would lose because of the bechira of the yachid? That cannot be.
    That is what lev melachim refers to. Hashem would not let the country slip into war based on the bechira of a yachid against the tzibur.
    However, you have to distinguish between bechira and consequences. If the klal exercises their collective bechira and elects someone like Olmert who is willing to give away anything for the promise of peace, his acting on that platform is not a surprise move that goes against the tzibur, but is simply a fulfillment of the platform which the klal chose in the first place. His action is not contrary to the bechira of the klal - it is a fulfillment of their bechira.

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