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Part 8 - Perek 9: The Trees and The Forest

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Part 8 - Perek 9: The Trees and The Forest
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Revach L'Neshama

It is Iyov's turn in the debate, and he continues to espouse his opinion that the concept of hashgacha does not exist, and the earth was given over to the Mazalos. He agrees with Bildad that injustice cannot be ascribed to Hashem. However, abandoning the world to an unfair system seems unjust, so how can he espouse this view? Iyov provided a philosophical answer to this question. If one man suffers, he immediately decides that his life is unjust and suffering prevails in the world, as if his reality is the only reality in the world. However, it is a lack of common sense to think that his personal reality reflects the general reality of mankind in general. One man alone is a drop in the ocean compared to the millions of human beings, and the entire species of man is like a drop in the ocean compared to Hakadosh Boruch Hu. How could he imagine that his personal reality reflects the reality of life in general?

Furthermore, man who was originally created from earthly material, and who is conceived from such lowly substances, cannot escape from loss. There is no physical existence without loss; pain and physical loss is part and parcel of the human existence. Human beings, formed out of flesh and blood, are baalei chomer and could not exist without loss. The Mazalos, which are also comprised of material beings, also suffer from loss. The sun and the thousands of stars surrounding it are like nothing compared to the thousands of suns and tens of thousands of stars that are scattered afar in the Milky Way. Therefore, if the sun, the moon, and the stars would be lost, this would not be necessarily unjust and a definite evil from the Creator. He, in His wisdom chose to create a world of existence and loss that contains worlds without limit within it, and the sun and its hosts are like a drop in the bucket in comparison. Therefore, even more so, a great loss, such as an earthquake or volcano in which tens of thousands of people die, which only affects part of one world, cannot be rendered an absolute catastrophe compared to the reality as a whole. The rules of nature dictate loss, and it's impossible that the earth will exist without natural disasters. The losses that stem from even a huge catastrophe are nothing compared to the general good in the world, and this applies even more so to the losses of one person. It's impossible to ascribe evil because of one person's loss compared to the general reality.

This was Iyov's answer to Bidad's complaint, "Can injustice be ascribed to Hashem?" Iyov admits that the general reality is one of goodness and kindness. In his view, Hashem supervises the general reality to ascertain that good prevails, and the suffering of each individual man is lost in comparison to the overall good in the world.

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