Michael Jackson

God and October 7th

At a Memorial Day dinner with some close friends in an Orthodox Jewish Chicago suburb, our host read an article about October 7th. A prominent American rabbi and yeshiva principal wrote an imagined speech by God to the Jews of Israel.  A summary of God’s imagined speech follows.  

God states that he warned Israeli Jews to adhere to the Torah laws.  But they repeatedly failed to heed God’s warnings. God believes, correctly, that the Israeli political, cultural, and governmental institutions hardly adhere to Torah commandments and morality. God was angry. God inflicted the Six-Day War upon Israel and they still wouldn’t heed and reform. Then he sent the Yom Kippur War and the Lebanese War.  All to no avail. Their refusal to follow God’s written laws meant continual warnings in the form of punishments costing multitudes of Israeli lives.  They chose to rely on the strong arm of the Israeli army and not the strong arm of God.  On October 7th, their beloved army failed them.

Thus Israeli Jews received a divine just punishment.  But then God makes a startling observation.  God does this out of love for his people.  The whole succession of loving chastisements is meant to guide the Jews to return to God’s law.   God loves his Am Segula (a treasured people).  God chose them from all peoples on Earth.  His continual love is manifest in two millennia of continual discrimination, persecution, wars, massacres, pogroms, and the Holocaust.  Love indeed, the gift of a loving father.  There is a saying that God works in mysterious ways.  Indeed, a mystery wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a paradox, wrapped in a secret, wrapped in a riddle, but emanating a moral stench.

Pat Robertson, the prominent Christian evangelical, after the 9/11 attack on New York City, knew that God inflicted this punishment on New York City because of their open tolerance and encouragement of homosexual behavior.  The common bible of Christians and Jews prohibits such behavior.  Perhaps both the rabbi and Pat Robertson are correct.  After all, God is omnipotent.

Possibly God also spoke to the suffering people of Gaza. That divine speech is beyond our rabbi’s purview. I imagine an imam has written an equivalent speech.  They also know the mind of God.  Rabbis, imams, priests, and ministers seem to share crystal clear insights into the mind of God. 

The Jews of the southern kibbutzim and the concert die in a bloodthirsty massacre;  the Jews of Tel Aviv wine and dine; the Jews of Mea Shearim and Bnei Brak pray and study in peace (and with army exemptions).  God of the heavens above has a perverse way of showing love.

A God who shows love by murdering 1,200 innocent Jews is a sick, sick God embedded in the mind of a sicker, sicker, sicker rabbi.

About the Author
Born in London in 1949. Studied Maths at Warwick University. Came to Israel (WUJS program at Arad) in 1971. I became a citizen and served in the army in 1973. Returned to the UK in 1974. Worked in Information Systems. Married an American Orthodox woman in 1977 and moved to America. For a few years I have led a retiree philosophy class.
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