Rabbi Boteach wrote a book explaining that suffering is something that shouldn’t happen. Therefore, we should not justify it. G^d wants all people to move toward an eternal life of bliss.
Because of the 45 dead + 150 wounded of Meron, he repeats this idea.
I believe he’s right and he’s wrong.
He’s right in that almost all that religious people say about suffering is wrong. Can’t any good that hardship could bring be supplied in a nicer way at least as well? And he has the clarity of mind and the guts to go against the persistent and widespread suffering myths. That is most meritorious.
He’s also right in that he challenges us to stop taking sickness and death as natural, unavoidable, and G^d-willed. Rather, we should do everything to prevent and end all human suffering and physical death. G^d gives us this chance to work with Him to perfect this world.
He’s also right in that classical Christianity is obsessed with suffering and pities Jews as the eternally suffering People. (Never mind that it itself caused most of that suffering.) Rather, we are the eternally surviving People, against all odds. And pity is often a form of arrogance.
But, at the same time, he’s wrong in that he only gave half the answers.
He’s wrong because sickness and death are good when we oppose them. It’s hard to make such a meaningful difference if the world were perfect. (But, Free Will doesn’t need Good over Evil. It can be Better over Good.) And, the flywheel weight of a fitness bike helps you to build muscle and fitness, and lose fat. With less sweating, that’s not going to happen.
He’s also wrong because resisting to succumb to hardship and pessimism builds determination, character, and discipline like nothing else. Too much ease, silver platters, kit gloves, and spoiling (never a (Divine) no) create brats, overentitlement, arrogance, ungratefulness, greed, and depression.
He’s also wrong as Rabbi Eliyahu E. Dessler reminds us that good deeds, done despite us suffering, pay a thousand times more Heavenly reward than without suffering. This is essential since, according to many Jewish thinkers, G^d’s purpose for creating the universe is to be generous.
It is not true that only after hunger you can value food and after war value peace. But they do help you to appreciate them a whole lot more.
Maybe we should more often look at the half of the glass that is full. And maybe we should mainly look at the half of the story Rabbi Boteach got right. But, only for as long as you remember it’s only half the story.