There is no doubt that the attacks we are experiencing are
far from the normal course of human affairs. Though we do not
see the Arab suicide bombers as studies in mesiras
nefesh as some do -- we see them rather as low creatures
who have no appreciation of any human life including their
own -- still it is clear that the actions of the bombers and
of the society that supports them are not within the bounds
of normalcy. Neither is the response of some Europeans who
dress up as suicide bombers at rallies to express their
Yet this state of affairs was itself pointed to for comfort
by HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein speaking for HaRav Eliashiv at
the recent Yom Iyun of the Beis Medrash Lehalochoh
Behityashvut directed by HaRav Yosef Efrati.
The fourth psalm begins: "A song (mizmor) for Dovid
when he was fleeing from his son Avsholom." In Brochos
(7) the gemora asks: "It should say `a lament for
Dovid'! Rabi Shimon ben Avisholom said, `It is like someone
who had a serious debt. Before he pays it off he is sad, but
after he has paid it off he is relieved and happy. So, too,
HaKodosh Boruch Hu had told Dovid, `I will set up
against you an evil from your own house,' and Dovid was
worried that a slave or a mamzer who would have no
mercy on him was intended. When he saw that it was Avsholom
he was happy and sang."
HaRav Yonoson Eibeschitz zt"l asked: Why was Dovid so
happy when he saw that the "evil" was coming from his son?
After all Avsholom tried to kill him.
He answers that there are two kinds of judgments from Heaven.
In one the troubles descend upon him in order to cleanse and
purify the person of his sins. In the other kind of judgment,
the person simply gets punished; he is abandoned by
Providence and left to the cruel devices of blind fate.
How can one tell the difference between these two? How can he
know if the troubles he is experiencing are a message backed
by love from Heaven or a frightening and terrible withdrawal
and abandonment of him by Providence?
The crucial difference is in the types of troubles and the
way they unfold. If the woes are apparently part of normal,
natural processes and appear to be nothing worse than "bad
luck," then it means that Divine Providence has become
alienated from the person and he or she has simply become
subject to the vagaries of blind fortune.
However, if the troubles are strange and unusual, and appear
totally absurd according to the normal standards of what
happens, then one is forced to conclude that they were sent
by Heaven with complete direction from Above.
Therefore, as long as Dovid Hamelech did not see what the
evil was that was to arise from his home, he was concerned,
fearing that he might have lost the supervision of
Providence. But when he saw that his own son rose against him
he was relieved, for that was something totally at odds with
normal, natural feelings. Dovid Hamelech knew that
Hashgochoh had not abandoned him and he was confident
of Hashem's great mercy.
The recent attacks we experience in our Holy Land -- which
fly in the face of the normal instinct of self-preservation --
and around the world -- which totally leave the normal
processes of reason -- teach us that Einei Hashem are
trained upon us and He has not left us to the vagaries of
nature. These are all His decrees and thus with teshuvoh,
tefilloh, and tachanunim we can merit the
middas horachamim and many blessings.
Omein, kein yehi rotzon.