web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

It’s Not Fair!

The-Shmuz

“And you shall take a bundle of hyssops and dip it in the blood in the basin,
and you shall touch it to the lintel and the two door posts,
and you shall not go out, no man from the entrance
of his home that night, until the morning
.” – Shemos 12:22

 

After months of witnessing Hashem’s mastery over nature, the Jewish people were commanded to commit the ultimate affront to the Mitzrim: to take their very god, tie it to the bedpost, and prepare it to be slaughtered on the 14th of Nissan. They were then to take the blood of the korban and smear it on their doorposts as a sign to protect them. Additionally, they were told that since all first-born Mitzrim were to be killed, no Jew should leave his house that night.

Rashi explains that even though blood on the doorpost was a sign that that house belonged to a Jew, if a Jew were to walk in the street, he would be in danger. “Once permission is given to the destroyer to destroy, he doesn’t distinguish between innocent and guilty.

It seems Rashi is saying that had a Jew remained in his house that evening, he would not have been killed, and had he left his house, he might have died – not because he was guilty of any sin, not because he deserved to die, but because once the destroyer is given permission to kill, anyone in his path is in danger.

This is difficult to understand. If someone is innocent, how is it possible he would die? The basis of our entire belief system is that there is no power in this world other than Hashem. We accept that all decisions are directly guided and carried out by Him alone. So how is it possible that someone undeserving of death would have been killed anyway, just for going outside that evening? Where is the justice?

Immutable Laws of Nature

The answer to this question is based on the way Chazal understand the system of Creation. Hashem formed this world with definite and distinct laws: heat tends to rise, gases tend to expand, heavy objects tend to fall. These laws are the bedrock foundation for all of physicality. Just as Hashem created laws for the physical world, so too He created laws for the spiritual world. These are specific and exact, and carry throughout Creation.

Before Hashem created the world, He thought (if it could be) to create it with the middas hadin – strict justice. However, the world couldn’t exist if it operated according to this system, so He created the world using the middas harachamim – the system of mercy. The operating principle then became compassion. The way actions were weighed and people were judged was now with a different scale and measuring rod. But since Hashem acts with complete honesty, justice cannot be ignored. It is mitigated and guided by kindness, but it still demands its due.

The Mesillas Yesharim explains that pure middas hadin would demand instant punishment for a sin. After all, in this world you are a creation, a visitor in the King’s land, created by and supported by Him. The King gave you laws for your good, and if you have the audacity to violate the express command of the King, even a slight transgression should be immediately punishable by death. The middah of mercy allows for a different way of judging an act: a sinner is given time to repent, the punishment isn’t as severe, and there is a system of teshuvah – of somehow undoing the sin itself.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “It’s Not Fair!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Protest rally against Metropolitan Opera staging Death of Klinghoffer on 9/22 at 4:30 pm at the Met.
For Grass Roots Klinghoffer Protest 9/22, Jewish Establishment MIA
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

The-Shmuz

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

A replica reminds a person of the original. Granted it is in miniature, and granted no one would mistake it for the original, but it carries, almost in caricature form, some semblance of the original.

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/its-not-fair/2014/03/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: