Friday, January 22, 2016

One cause, different effects

This is Shabbos Shira, as we read the parsha in which the Israelites sand a song of praise after they made it across the Yam Suf, and the Egyptians pursuing them did not.  Among the phrases  in the song is Yemincha Hashem ne'edri bakoach, yemincha Hashem tiratz oyev. The right arm [so to speak] of G-d is said to both save and destroy. Rashi explains that the its like Hashem has two right arms, one to save Yisrael and another to destroy the enemies. In his view, he said, its one right arm that does both, something that is impossible for a human -- doing two different actions with one arm.

My grandfather explains that for a person, a task will differ according to what's needed. Accordingly, he would do good with one hand and inflict punishment with another.  In contrast, for G-d it is possible to do a single action that serves as both reward and punishment. The differentiation is solely in the recipient.

That is the concept , he say, that Chazal bring up (Nedarim 8b) "In the future Hakadosh Baruch Hu will bring out the sun unfiltered, and the righteous will be healed from it while the wicked will be sentenced by it." It's through the same sun that some will be healted and others punished. Even though the sun's role is to do good for humanity, when a person is sick, its rays can harm him. Likewise, the good of Hakadosh Baruch Hu causes pain to the wicked, and that's their punishment.

The footnote on this piece cites, "Mipi Elyon lo tetzeh haraot vehatov" There is no bad and good from Above. The flow of good doesn't change in its source but its effect will depend on the recipient. Consequently, the same force will prove beneficial for the righteous and devastating for the wicked.

Related post: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2015/10/dvar-yehudah-parsha-points-from-my.html

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