Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Genocide

How could Hashem command us to kill the Midianim (In the battle in Parshas Matos)? Ask a better question: According to a census about 4.75 million people die every month throughout the world. That makes over 56.5 million people a year.

Who do you think causes these people to die? G-d. Fifty six million people a year. Talk about holocausts! What gives G-d the right to be such a mass murderer? Throughout history, entire civilizations were wiped out - now that's genocide!

And if you add up the amount of people who G-d caused to die throughout history, I don't even know how many millions and millions it would be.

And people are bothered by the Midianim?!

The answer is that everybody dies in his proper time. That's "normal". Murder is when you kill someone before his time is up. So the questioner is assuming that when G-d sends the malach hamaves to break a bridge and have someone fall to his death, that is OK, because the person's "time is up", but when G-d tells Moshe to throw a midianite off a bridge that is murder because the victim should still live.

And that is his mistake. For when G-d decides that someone should die - be it at the hands of the Angel of Death or one of Hashem's human agents - that person's time is up. G-d could kill all the midianim at the hands of an earthquake or at the hands of Klall Yisrael - same difference.

Except for the fact that the earth has no bechirah, and therefore is incapable, Boruch Hashem, of rebelling against G-d and disobeying.

But people are. And so if the hypothetical asker would be told by the Torah to kill someone and he refused, it would be the same as if the Malach Hamaves was told by G-d that someone's time is up and he refused to end that person's life.

He surely understands that it is part of G-d's unfathomable, cosmic plan when a volcano erupts and a civilization is wiped out. Nobody would accuse G-d of genocide. Or the malach hamaves who was only following G-d's orders.

You know, maybe some time around 3000 years ago, someone died, went up to heaven, and was shown a video of the holocaust - concentration camps, torture, death, genocide. And G-d angrily tells him "This is all your fault - you caused this to happen. It wasn't supposed to happen - it wasn’t in my plan - but you did it with your free will! You are a murderer of six million Jews!"

"How can this be, G-d?" the accused would say. "That scene takes place 3,000 years after I died. How could I be responsible for that?"

But G-d answered, "Remember when I commanded you all to kill the midianites? And remember when you came upon that little baby and you couldn't do it? Remember that?"

"Yes I do," he says. "I was merciful."

"Merciful? More merciful than me?" G-d thundered back. "That baby was the great-grandmother of Hitler! Hitler was never supposed to have been born. In My divine plan, that baby was never supposed to grow up or have children. I gave the Divine plan to you to fulfill. You know I said to do it. Yet you think that you know better? Now look at the fruits of your actions!"

(By the way - the above is a fictitious version of the true story of King Shaul and Agag, King of Amalek. Same idea.)

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If G-d did not "destroy" those nations, but rather caused its members to expire by "natural" means - that would be acceptable? Why is it that when someone dies of a heart attack it is "OK" for G-d to do it, but when someone dies in an earthquake, suddenly they get angry at G-d? And tell me, how long do you think people are "entitled" to live on this world before G-d is "allowed" to have them expire? If someone dies when he is 85, that is "OK", but not when he is 15? What yardstick are these people using to tell G-d how long He is required to keep a soul inside a body?
Every moment of life is a gift from G-d. There is no entitlement. Because some humans, in their "wisdom" decided that a certain amount of years on this world is "fair" and less than that is "cruel", or that if a person expires in a certain manner it is "cruel" but if his expiration comes about through a different agent, it is OK -- does any of that mean anything? What yardstick are these people using to determine what exactly G-d may or may not do in this world??

When G-d wipes out populations, that means their time in this world has expired. It's over.

When a human being kills someone in this world, it means he caused the person to expire before his time.

So the attributing to G-d upon His removing someone from this world, the same cruelty that applies to a human murderer when causing the untimely death of another, is illogical and silly. Because when G-d causes someone to die it simply means that person's time in this world is up.

Nobody is immortal.

And if these people agree that nobody is entitled to demand immortality, then why do they have problems when a person dies?

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