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Section: Tanach   Category: Iyov
Part 19 Perek 23-24: Iyov - Is Partial Self Interest In Serving Hashem A Capital Crime?

Iyov responds to Eliphaz, and rebuts his new shitah. Eliphaz had said that Hashem sends yissurim to the tzaddik in order to test him for his own ultimate benefit in Olam Haba. If tzaddikim were never afflicted with suffering, man would lack free choice, and would serve Hashem for superficial reasons. In fact, Iyov's friends hinted to him that his suffering was a result of that very reason - serving Hashem out of hope of reward and fear of punishment. Iyov, however, is not satisfied with this answer. He claims that it's illogical that Hashem would bring such severe suffering on someone for such a slight sin. If a man fulfills the mitzvos, and refrains from evil, does he deserve such severe suffering for momentarily thinking of attaining his own needs while serving Hashem?

Eliphaz applied his reasoning to reshaim as well - if they were always punished immediately in this world, man would lack bechira and would serve Hashem out of fear. Iyov argued that many evildoers live in the desert or on islands, which are far away from civilized society. Periodically, these reshaim emerge to murder people and plunder their possessions. Hashem could destroy these evildoers in the secrecy of their dwelling places, and this would not harm free choice, since it would not become public knowledge.

Iyov then returns to his old complaint -that Hashem is not mashgiach on man's life, and man is simply a victim of the mazalos. He cries bitterly that if his life had been taken, he would have been able to accept it with simcha. His suffering, however, is too much to bear, and it would be better if his existence would end.

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Visitor Comments: 1

Li, 2007-11-12 05:16:56
Most of us would admit that we're not living the life of Iyov and so to comment on his feelings of desperation at this moment is difficult. However we all have had some kind of experience with deprivation and also have had the knowledge that Hashem is bringing it to us and that makes it difficult to bear. We train ourselves to want the things that Hashem wants and then Hashem puts barriers in place to make the desirable things almost unattainable. At the same time he shows us how seemingly easy it is for many others to attain these goals and so then that's when our free choice kicks in. Will we keep searching until we find the path that Hashem has carved out for us or will we chase a life that Hashem had never intended for us in the first place. Who are we really? Iyov is in a bad place because he seemingly attained something. But he came into this world with nothing and he will emerge into the next world with nothing...except for his experiences. We can only do what Hashem allows us to do.Yesterday I finally dismantled our Sukkah (I wanted to do it before but then G-d would send the rain so that it was nearly impossible to take it down until yesterday which was RH Kislev). We are no where without Hashem. Our lives are inventions. What do we know about G-d's intentions for us. Hodaya.

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