[Avodah] Gid ha'nasheh

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Dec 6 11:36:19 PST 2017

On Tue, Dec 05, 2017 at 06:22:57AM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
:> Aside from feeling the psychological pain of Rachel’s death,
:> perhaps Yaakov also had to feel physical pain.
: I draw a distinction between "consequences" and "punishments"...

For those who don't remember from prior iterations, I don't.

I think the difference between callins an onesh a consequence and calling
it a punishment (or even "corrective") is whether one views sekhar
va'onesh as a system that HQBH set up when He set up the universe or as
a set of responses He has to our actions.

"Chai gever al chata'av" implies one, our tefillos on yamim nora'im
frequently imply the other.

But both are simply simplified models of the incomprehensible Truth
of how Hashem runs the universe. Since He is lemaalah min hazeman, we
can't talk about whether the decision was made in maaseh bereishis or in
response to our action -- both are ascribing times to a timeless Action
(for want of a better word). We can only speak of a when for the effects
of Divine Action, as they enter our timefull experience.

:                                                                I have
: heard in the past that Eretz Yisrael was unable to tolerate Yaakov's
: being married to two sisters, and that Rachel's death was a
: consequence of that.

... which is typical of an onesh -- a sin causes its own punishment. The
two explanations are not mutually exclusive.

To say that it was the land's qedushah causing something that wasn't
in line with justice, one has to explain why there are rules that hide
Hashem's Justice that aren't part of the hesteir panim necessary for
free will. We need laws of nature to plan how to execute a decision,
but laws of metaphysics?

: If he was punished, it must be that he was punished for some choice
: that he made. What choice was that? What did he do wrong? If he could
: do it all over again, what ought he do differently? Specifically:
: After having married Leah, should he have not married Rachel?

Well, isn't that the halakhah?

Or maybe the issur was in whatever it was that had him marrying a woman
without noticing that her eyes were rakos (whatever that means). Perhaps
the mistake was due to a criminal level of negligence.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Man is equipped with such far-reaching vision,
micha at aishdas.org        yet the smallest coin can obstruct his view.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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