You’d have expected a guide to life to be 100% positive and nice.
And you would think that Jews would not be singled out for punishment. But Jews need to be exemplary, a beckon of light for others. And with G^d, there is no favoritism.
This is a condensed analysis that, therefore, needs a slow read.
Here are seven reasons why Jews, the apple of G^d’s eye, are cursed in the Torah twice (Leviticus 26:14-43 and Deuteronomy 11:29 and 27:15-26).
1. Not: If you suffer, it’s your punishment, so as a justification or rationalizing of the suffering in the world. Rather: If you’d sin, you could suffer. It’s a warning for deterrence.
2. From the curse we experience, we can distill which of the seven levels of violation in the world we committed (Leviticus 26:14-43). NB: It’s not a given that the one who suffers is the one who sinned because we Jews are all responsible for each other. The more you know or the more innocent you are, the more you are responsible for bringing humanity to a better place. You should have mended others’ moral deficit, including amongst Gentiles, I think. When the suffering is not ‘deserved’ or ‘fair,’ it is subtracted from any well-deserved punishment or when undeserving, is corrected by meting out more reward than acquired, often in the Afterlife, seems to me.
3. Naïve people (Jews are trained to be benign and peace-loving) need not fear that G^d’s Supervision failed, Heaven forbid be when bad things happen. It’s all foretold, and everything is under control.
4. All the misery will end well, we are told, subsequently (Leviticus 26:44-45), so we can and must stay optimistic. This will also train us to go for long-term goals rather than just actual instant gratification, the priority that’s the essence of Jewish Free Will.
5. Just as good parents of small children praise or agree at least ten times more than they forbid or disapprove, relative to all of the Torah, the curses, no matter how elaborate, are but a small section.
6. Some curses are not meted out for sinning but for being unhappy while obeying G^d’s Word (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). (We are allowed to laugh about us doing the Commandments happily to avoid pain.) They teach us that begrudged obedience does not suffice. Constant, intense happiness is required. That lofty goal is far more important than the negativity of having the curses spelled out. G^d is known to have us suffer the same way as we sin. If we sin by considering our holy obedience no bliss, He ensures our life is no fun. But you could also say that if you live depressed, you’ll be depressed. (Our outlook must enable Atheists to feel bad or have a possible, natural explanation that would help their understanding.) After the Holocaust, Ashkenazic suffering was mostly not chosen, so deserves compensation: the Independent State of Israel, after 50 years of modern Zionism.
7. With so much suffering in the world, never mind that 99% is self-inflicted by us or others, a Godly Guide to life would be unreal and ill-fit if it stayed sweet and nice. A sweet People must learn that in this world, some distress, even as bad as the Holocaust, is unavoidable but still part of the Program.
NB: No one, including Gentiles, has any right to hurt Jews because of these curses.