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Section: Tanach   Category: Iyov
Part III Perek Beis: More Trouble and Iyov Starts To Crack

It begins with another day of judgment, and the Satan is again present to prosecute his case. The Targum says that this was Yom Kippur. Hashem preempts the Satan in defense of Iyov, and says to the Satan, "Did you notice Iyov who is still outstanding in his tziddkus? You enticed Me against him for nothing." The Satan, however, is again prepared with an answer. He says, "It is not yet clear from this nisayon that Iyov is serving You from ahavah. It is only clear that he was not devastated by the loss of his wealth and children; apparently his body is dearer to him than his money and children. He is still afraid to sin out of worry that he will be physically punished. However, if You do inflict him with physical suffering and his life is in danger, and he despairs of finding a cure, he will have nothing left to fear or hope for. Then You will see that he will blaspheme You to Your face." Hashem then granted the Satan permission to inflict physical suffering on Iyov, with the dispensation that he must preserve Iyov's life.

"The Satan then left the Presence of Hashem and struck Iyov with severe boils from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. And he took a potsherd to scratch himself with, and he sat in the midst of ashes." The Midrash says that the upper half of his body was covered with dry boils and he needed a potsherd to scratch with, and the bottom half of his body was covered with wet boils and he needed to sit in dust that would absorb the moisture. The cure for one type of boil was harmful to the other type of boil.

"And his wife said, ‘Are you still holding on to your faith? Curse Hashem and die.'"

When Iyov was first afflicted with the loss of his wealth and children, he blessed Hashem for his suffering. This time he did not bless Hashem; he was silent because his heart was not complete. His silence is what prompted his wife to question his behavior. She mocked him by reminding him that the first time he was afflicted, he blessed Hashem, which showed that he was faithful to Him. The result is that He continued to afflict him. Now if he blesses Him again, He will surely afflict him until he dies. She was mocking him for blessing Hashem the first time.

"And he said to her, ‘You talk like a disgraceful woman. Should we also accept the good from Hashem, but not the evil?'"

On superficial glance, Iyov's answer seems to be one of a Yarei Shamayim and tzaddik. However, closer examination of his words reveals that his heart was turned to thoughts of heresy. This is revealed from the word "also" in "Should we also accept the good from Hashem, but not the evil?" This "also" meant that he thought that the good in life is mixed with numerous evils, and that the evil in life outweighs the good. He also thought that it is impossible for Hashem to bestow only good, because one who wants to accept good must also accept evil. This is like someone who wants to drink a lot of wine or eat a lot of honey will surely not complain that he got drunk from the wine or suffered indigestion from the honey.

"And the evil we will not accept?" Iyov was implying that it's impossible not to accept the evil because evil is the ikar. This sentence revealed that his heart was filled with blasphemy - that Hashem created man for evil, and that the evil in life outweighs the good.

"And despite all this, Iyov did not sin with his lips."

Chazal say that he didn't sin with his lips, but he did sin in his heart. He didn't yet voice complaints against Hashem, but it was apparent from the world "also" that he believed that Hashem created man for evil.


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