Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just Cause

I've been mulling over a new thought I saw this week in Ohr Gedalyahu, who quotes the Medrash Tanchuma that Yaakov's departure from the Holy Land was an aspect of exile (Yaakov's "taking" the birthright effectively severed Esav's spiritual life. One who cuts a life short - albeit unintentionally - must go into exile).

Within the context of this idea, Rav Schorr refers to the fact that the exile was essentially a decree from our forefather Avraham; at the bris bein habesarim it was established that Avraham's decendents would be exiles, wandering from country to country. Nevertheless, although a decree may be set for generations, in every generation there must be some sort of pretense to "warrant" the decree, no matter how tenuous. Case in point, the birthright in last week's parsha.

I'm not sure I understand this correctly. This idea of needing a "siba" as Rav Schorr puts it is intriguing; it seems like one of those many instances where God plays by "the rules" of our finite human intellect; we (humans) look for causality, and it would seem "unjust" for Him to visit upon one's progeny hardship apropos of nothing, so He finds something to hang it on.

But why? This cannot be the only reason (if it applies at all), because what happened to "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My way..."? The Holy One answers to no one, nor can anyone really question him. Is there a deeper insight in this concept of finding a pretense?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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