Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Double Edged Sword

Don't know if this is my flawed interpretation or is this how it is truly meant:

OJ theology in a nutshell:

A. Anything good that happens in your life happens in spite of your best efforts, but solely by the (inscrutable) will of G-d.

B. Anything bad that happens in your life is not accidental, but caused by your sins and misdeeds that G-d is punishing you for.

How can this lead to a healthy psyche? Yet there are many observant people in the world that don't seem to be bothered by this. How can this be explained?


Blogger The back of the hill said...

Sounds like hard-core Protestantism.

And how does postulating a cause and reason speak of the unknowability of the divine?

Randomness and the hester panim ("oh crap, there he goes again mentioning THAT!!!") go together.

Stuff happens. It's a crap shoot. Do not assume that there is a divinely linked reason - or a meaning, or a message.

If there is a god, he created the laws of chance so that he would not have to pay attention to the details.

October 03, 2006 7:31 PM  
Blogger kishnevi said...

If the Deity gives us such detailed attention, it is simply proof of His love and concern for us. The less one likes a thing or person, the less one pays attention to it or them.

October 03, 2006 9:36 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...


See my next post.


I am not disagreeing with you, but I am not sure if you are answering the question I posed? PS, my Kishinev post was inspired by your moniker.

October 04, 2006 1:02 PM  
Blogger SMB said...

hmmm...ok, 1) of all why "in spite of our best efforts?"
2) not only is it not "in spite of," in fact, we're considered to be doing & receiving good ONLY by our own efforts, and even if G-d pitches in and helps us, that's generally only after we do our part, whatever it may be .
3) that's only if we're doing the right thing - if we're not, the good things we have (up to and definitely including life) come from an entirely different side of things (I hesitate to use 'source' because there's obviously only one Source of all), the Sitra Achra!
4)bad things are not accidental, but they are not "punishments;" a difficult situation is there for a specific purpose, to challenge us in some way. Obviously it's hard (at least for me) to keep that in mind at the time, but intellectually, it should be there, at least.
I don't think that's a full response, but it's a start.

October 05, 2006 7:25 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

SMB, perhaps I can illustrate with an example...

If I spend the next ten years working my butt off to become a heart surgeon, studying through nights and weekends, a killer residency where I am up 72 hours at a stretch, etc., and a person comes up to me and says, the only reason that you are a heart surgeon is because G-d wanted you to become one.

October 05, 2006 1:28 PM  
Blogger SMB said...

well, he'd be missing the point. I've been through the mainstream yeshiva system, and none of the people I know think like that(I hope). However, (I think) it would be correct to say that, assuming that Hashem's plan is for you to become a heart surgeon, then, by making the RIGHT CHOICE, you are fulfilling Hashem's plan.

October 09, 2006 7:32 PM  

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