Warum heilt G”tt nicht die Amputierte

April 1, 2014

DeutschPikiWiki_Israel_14321_Religion_in_IsraelWarum erlaubt G”tt böses? Die Frage der Theodizee bewegt seit immer schon den Menschen. Jedoch gibt es auch originelle Gesichtspunkte, die zu unserem Verständnis der Frage beiträgen. So fragte mir eines Tages Herr Joschka Kämpchen: “Warum heilt G”tt nicht die Amputierten?” Aus dieser Auseinandersetzung wuchs ein Artikel von mir, der vor kurzem in der Jüdischen Allgemeine veröffentlicht wurde. Die Diskussion mit Herrn Kämpchen war aber viel tiefgehender. Anbei eine längere Version unserer gemeinsamen Auseinandersetzung.

Eine rabbinische Diskussion zu einem religionsphilosophischen Thema.

Von Rabbiner Arie Folger mit Joschua Kaempchen

Warum heilt G-tt keine Amputierte?

Diese Frage ist natürlich nur eine andere Version der alten Frage der Theodizee, “Wenn es G”tt gibt und Er gütig ist, wieso gibt es so viel Leid auf Erden.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Will the Judge of the Entire World Not Do Justice?

April 1, 2011

I tried to avoid this issue as it was propping up in conversations and in private chain emails, in the hope that sober minds would prevail and this opinion would die down, but I was wrong, and this philosophy has now hit the media. What I am talking about is the attempt of some opinion leaders to explain the Japanese triple disaster by linking it to a particular wrong the Japanese are accused of: the conviction of three young Jewish men for unknowingly smuggling a large amount of drugs into Japan.

Rabbi David Twersky, the leader of the Rachmastrivka Hasidic dynasty, says the recent tsunami in Japan, which has left thousands of people dead, was the result of the arrest of two yeshiva students by Japanese authorities after being convicted of smuggling drugs, YNET reports. In truth, I am loath to respond, because the Rachmastrivka Rebbe is a great, G”d-fearing, holy man, infinitely more learned than I am. It is thus with quite some trepidation I write these words, but, I believe that we must write them. The notion that about 27000 people lost their lives because three Jewish men were too harshly punished, is so disproportional, that no response would be needed. However, I feel that when the internet is obscured by such incomprehensible statements, it behooves us to seek what the Torah really has to say about these matters. Read the rest of this entry »


When Theodicy Is No Theodicy

April 1, 2011

There is an old, venerable strain in Jewish thought, which would have us allow current events to inspire us to greater introspection and inspiration in our service of G”d. The question being answered is not “Why has G”d allowed such a thing to happen,” but ” how should I change my life, now that these terrible tidings have reached my ears – how to I shake myself awake to become a better person?”

To understand that approach, we should delve a little further into this citation of “the world was created for me.”* Read the rest of this entry »


CNN: Only Israel Has A Fully Functioning Field Hospital In Haiti

January 18, 2010

The tragedy of the humongous loss of life as a result of the massive earthquake in Haiti cannot be overestimated. But what is worse is that many of the survivors are dying because they cannot get timely medical care. Many nations have flown in supply for the healthy survivors and medicine for the sick, but that is not enough. Many patients need a hospital. CNN reported yesterday that only one nation set up a fully functioning field hospital, with operating rooms and other life saving medical equipment: Israel.

Other Israeli teams also joined the rescue effort. Jerusalem Post reported how the ZAKA team rescues eight students in collapsed Haitian university building.

Snapshot of CNN video
[flash video will open in new window or tab; hat tip: FM]

At times like these we also wonder how to deal with such tragedies religiously. It is the perennial religious question, and Moses himself struggled with this. I believe that the approach I delineated in my essay [original text, in German or automatic Google translation] on the Asian Tsunami of 2004 is applicable now, too.


Can Prayer Fail Us?

December 5, 2008

English A week has passed since the horrors of the murders of Mumbai unfolded, and this tragedy has, as tragedies often do, aroused introspection. We ask many questions on many levels. There are political questions, why in Mumbai? and why were Anglo-Saxons and Jews particularly targeted?; there are organizational questions regarding the readiness and effectiveness of the Indian security forces; questions of how do react to the atrocities on the individual, organizational (how should Jewish organizations adapt their security model, should we trun our communal homes into secure, but uninvitng fortresses?) and political levels; and there are questions of faith, too. Read the rest of this entry »