Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 4:19

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 4:19
By Yehudah ben Shomeyr
“Rabbi Yannai said: It is not in our power to explain either the 
tranquility of the wicked or the suffering of the righteous.”
Nonetheless Rabbi’s and Sages have attempted it.
However, I think the point Rabbi Yannai was trying to make 
is that no matter what explanation or reasoning we come up 
with it will fall short and seem unfair because we are finite and 
God is infinite and who are we to try and comprehend the ways 
of an Infinite God?
However to those who struggle over this issue I will give some classic 
reasons of the Rabbi’s and Sages.
1.    God is being merciful to the wicked knowing they will have and 
eternity to suffer and hoping His goodness upon them will soften 
their heart and realize it is God’s doing and turn to Him. In the same 
token the righteous will be rewarded and at rest for all eternity so 
a little bit of suffering down here is really insignificant in the 
whole scheme of things. In some way suffering builds character 
and brings us closer to God. It has also been suggested that the 
suffering of the righteous somehow atones for the wicked.
2.    Kabbalah suggests that time is an illusion and therefore 
reward and punishment doesn’t come when we think it should. 
So a prosperous wicked person may actually be rewarded in 
the present for a good deed done years ago. And a righteous 
person may be suffering some “injustice” on account of a sin 
committed in the forgotten past.
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr