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Is it Okay to be Angry with G‑d?

Is it Okay to be Angry with G‑d?

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This response was written in the wake of the Mumbai massacre of November, 2008.

Let's say I promised my kids to take them on a trip. But there are conditions. If any of them does not behave, that child will be left behind.

And then, when we all pile into the van, there's one child missing. When asked, I only say, "Sorry, he can't come."

Now let's say nobody saw that child do anything wrong. Quite the contrary, we all saw he was helping everyone else do what they needed to do to go on the trip. But for some reason I can't explain to my kids, I have to leave him behind. And then my children say, "Dad, it's not fair! Why are you doing this? We're not going without him!"

Tell me: Should I be angry? Or should I be proud?

And if the lives of a couple who gave everything they had for others are brutally destroyed and their child orphaned, does our Father Above expect us to sit complacently and say, "Well, He must have His reasons"? Or does He await us to storm the heavens and scream, "How could You do this to Your people? Is it for this that You sent them to a foreign land? You promised us a messiah and this is what we get!?"

We have a relationship with Him. We are allowed some outrage. It's expected of us. If you have nothing to do with one another you are afraid of putting your feelings out in the open. But when you trust one another, when you are bonded together as one, when you have traveled an arduous journey together for four thousand years, when you have walked through fire and storm, defied the sword and the torch for Him, spilled your blood again and again for Him, risen to heaven in noxious smoke simply because you belong to Him, then you have the right, the need to yell out, to demand, "What's going on?! How long can you keep this up for?"

And then, only then, can we hear His voice whispering, "Trust me. I had to do this. It will be good. Very soon. Then you will understand. Then you will see."

May we see very soon, sooner than we can imagine.

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Anonymous November 16, 2014

Just a little addition to previous content. Our mortality and suffering is the result of evil. Before the fruit of the tree of good and evil, evil was external to us. After, evil integrated with our soul, we necessarily have to perish to be rid of the evil. HaShem said this would happen but as we as humans always do, we make bad decisions. But, our service to HaShem in this condition is precious. Every time we turn an evil condition or event into something good or we get an opportunity to correct a wrong, we ensure ourselves a place in the future world, for our souls will live on with the pleasure of heavenly delights. We are here now for these experiences and we cannot change it, we can only make the best of it Reply

Anonymous November 16, 2014

I find that we as humans tend to complain about others when we don't understand all the context about an event and we have the Monday morning quarterback syndrome. I am guilty as well. We are commanded to love and serve unconditionally as we could never understand the whole picture of HaShem's purposes. However we are given a glimpse and are told there is a purpose for people to witness events that we don't understand. While, I believe we can ask HaShem for insight for the lesson intende, we don't have the right to express anger at our Creator and ultimate King. Even Moses had anger issues and had to learn lessons as a consequence of that anger even though it wasn't directed at HaShem. How much more so when it is directed at our Creator. But we can respectfully question and expect answers. The answers are hidden in events, dreams, recurring themes in Torah study, etc. You have to look but the answers are ther Reply

Miriam Baley Mexico City, Mexico November 15, 2014

I'm also extremely mad at G-d. Too much suffering,

I felt as if I was the one that wrote the comment. I feel exactly the same...

I also still have a relationship with Him but my anger at Him and what He allows is immense.

I can truly see the beauty in the world and creatures He made... except, of course, for the human race.

I've had many conversations with my parents and pshychologist about this and I still don't believe that such a powerful, beautiful and almighty G-d would allow all of the terrible things humans have done (and keep on doing).

I haven't heard Him whispering to me "you will see". What is it that we will see? I don't care if I'm happy and in a better place when I die. I want to be happy and safe right now.

I feel very hopeless and helpless... Reply

Anonymous Kingston, Ontario October 7, 2012

Simplest and Likeliest Answer There is no God, or there is a blind force that created/started the universe but does not govern it. Reply

Ezza Amitai Melbourne, Australia June 27, 2011

Too much suffering I too have concerns and anger towards the Creator of cancer, starvation, earthquakes and the other sundry horrors of the world.

I have already had a very large share of tragedy in my own life. Sometimes I have rage against G-d and I hate Him completely.

Paying for past lives' sins does not make sense, because what made us do our past life's actions- the life before that?

G-d created us fragile, vulnerable, needy and lacking. Then He hits us with so much damage and then we die.

When I look at the beauty of nature I see HaShem's love and compassion. When I look at the pain and suffering of living creatures, I see His own hate and cruelty. If He created us in His image then He too must have a Yetzer Hara.

Whilst I am angry with G-d, I also have an intense love relationship with Him. At least I'm still talking to Him. I guess that's something.

The only sense I've been able to make of G-d is that He is not a refuge IN the world, but a refuge FROM the world. Reply

Mr. Thomas Weatherly January 19, 2010

the holy one's personal name is The causative of the verb "to be" or other words, IS THAT CREATES IS is the personal name of the holy one. One of it's nicknames was "the abode." It is obvious that we live within the holy one, within the law, and within the what matters and energies that comprise the whole wholly one that is omnipresent ONE.

We at birth have the good inclination and the bad inclination (I prefer the un socialized inclination)0. We learn from parents and other elders, then we teach our children when each is appropriate.

Understand as Jewish mystics do, Judaism is an Asiatic religion.

It is more akin in conceptual premises to Taoism than it is to Christianity and Islam. Those religions evolved beyond their Asiatic origins. They became creedal.

We are the agents of change in the house of the lord; we inhabit the one and only abode.

My pa was a religious man and a mathematician; he taught me only one infinity and eternity can exist. Mathematics is torah too. All knowledge is torah. Reply

Anonymous January 19, 2010

Thank you Beautifully written as always. Reply

eliyahu ben avraham/Thomas Elias Weatherly Huntsville, Alabama May 12, 2009

Understand how holy one acts The holy one does act to end suffering. The holy one acts through us if we listen an obey; it is our acts that prevent children from being parentless, our acts that feed the hungry, our acts that stops cruelty, our acts that bring the good into the world. We are the agents for change of the holy one. If there is suffering, it is our neglect of our true work. More people in Germany either worke cruelty on the world or did not resist the cruelty of the others. It would not have happened without human complicity. We are the agents of change commissioned by the holy one. Reply

Richard Forest Hills, NY May 11, 2009

Resonse to Richard/David God is testing us? "So, why couldn't He have given us a written exam?"

I tend to agree with conclusion No. 1 above--that G-d is not all-powerful, in reality. G-d created the laws of physics and thermodynamics and chemistry and gravity (and free will? okay, it's not a physical law, but it is a law of human nature) and cannot simply violate them at will, but He can make the occasional exception, since He is G-d. That these laws, like free will, even He is compelled to obey makes more sense to my tiny brain and is more compatible with the concept of His goodness. I love my kids, but I can't change fire into ice, or bullets into M&M's, to spare them hurting themselves or from being hurt--they have to learn, no?

David, certainly the Jews of Germany were more German than German, but what about the more orthodox Jews of Poland and Russia, who lived as outcasts from their host societes? Did they need a similar lesson, or was their fate a matter of bad luck and geography? Reply

David Baltimore, USA May 11, 2009

God means to teach us a lesson for all time Sometimes, the only way to bring an important lesson to our generation and to future generations is by God allowing such an horrific thing to happen. God is the God of history, the present, and the future. Sometimes, if we in our generation are not understanding the ideas that we need to understand properly, instead of teaching the lesson to us in a sweet and pleasant manner, tragedy is the only thing that will bring the lessons home properly. The Holocaust is a classic example. To say simply "We cannot know why..." is to miss the main point. Not that we can no the specifics to every question, but we can know and learn certain general lessons. For one example, the holocaust teaches that there is no ultimate hope in the Jews dwelling in the golus. For Germany was a haven for Jews for many years--the German Jew wanted to more German than the average American Jew wants to be American. They called themselves "Jews of Mosaic persuasion."

God had to teach us via tragedy. Reply

Richard Tenser May 11, 2009

Given human suffering due to evil performed by man, and that due to natural diasters/illnesses it ineed be concluded that God, 1. is not all powerful; 2. does not care or 3. has reasons we cannot understand. Number 3. is the fall-back position but begs the question of why then we think we understand so much else in the bible. Reply

Anonymous Fairfax, VA May 9, 2009

For Richard - That I believe is a superficial interpretation. Surely man taking the case of G-d, even mistakenly, cannot be a cause of anger for our infinitely merciful Creator. Pinchas committed murder in defense of G-d. There must be a more salient reason for such a strong emotion. Plagues were initiated from that Emotion. Clearly in my last response I was not justifying G-d's behavior, I was merely suggesting that suffering initiates a process in which one has to deal and engage in a dialog with G-d to make sense of the event through stages of denial, anger, bargaining and ultimately acceptance. It is important to examine all alternatives and reasons for events otherwise life is meaningless. Just as G-d and His Torah is a standard that everything is measured against, so should our outlook be and not ascribe wrongdoing and lack of justice to G-d. If that is justification, then I suppose G-d can be angry with me Reply

Tzvi Freeman Thornhill, Ontario May 8, 2009

For Richard Read the story of Job again. On the contrary, G-d was upset at Job's friends for attempting to justify Him. Reply

Anonymous Fairfax, VA May 7, 2009

--who do you think..to question me As it says sometimes..you can't handle the truth. In my opinion, I believe we get answers when we are ready. G-d being infinite, is also the most humble to His creations because He wants us to be that way. When you are ready, you will be answered. I've had two life threatening conditions and I am dealing with one now. I argue with G-d everyday, but I realize there are reasons for everything and as I go through things, I do get answers. Maybe not the ones I want, but they make sense. G-d will not provide reasons unless you can handle the reality and luminance of the Truth. There are times I feel at a great distance from G-d but I know this is my Yetzer HaRa (evil inclination). We need to not judge G-d, but if we do, we need to imitate His action. Judge for the best! Reply

Richard Forest Hills, NY May 7, 2009

To be honest, I'm not crazy about G-d's response to Job's accusation/cry of despair--essentially, "Who the do you think you are to question me, little man? I don't owe you an explanation, because I am G-d and I know things you don't." In other words, as my father used to say whenever I asked him why I had to do something I wasn't happy about, "Because I'm the Daddy." I found that answer to make sense as much as I found it to be cryptic and a little insensitive.

"Trust, but verify." Reply

Anonymous Fairfax, VA April 18, 2009

Anonomys Montreal I understand your bitterness and it is very easy to accept your position. But, consider that we do not and cannot understand what each person must experience in his/her life. We are not infinite and therefore we can't understand. Souls inserted into bodies in the worst of Africa, as an example, may all need this type of life to purge them from misdeeds or impurities from previous lives. It is said that the generation that went into Egypt were reincarnations of the people who built the Tower of Babel. The experience in Egypt was a purification for this. We may not accept this explanation but there is no reason not to. We learn as we study. Incomplete study leads to misunderstanding. You still may stay with your opinion, but know there are alternative reasons that we may or may not be privileged to understand. Your struggle through this understanding is your purification process. I wish you luck in this process. Reply

Anonymous Montreal, QC/Canada April 17, 2009

I wish people would stop giving excuses The God we imagined is nothing more than a fabrication so there is no need to give excuses for him like this.

God is a an excuse our ancestors used when they didn't understand disease and earthquakes. We're beyond that. Why do we keep using the ancient books for wisdom when it clearly doesn't have it? Reply

Gil Great Neck, N.Y. April 14, 2009

Angry with G-D For G-D to intervene and stop every tragedy and evil that befalls man- G-D would have to be a "puppet master" and pull all our strings. If you wish to be a chess piece on a chess board, and have a Grand Master move you about without any decision on your own- fine- but not for me. This is life- free will and everything that goes with it. G-D enigmatically answers Jobs complaint about his tragedy - in summation - "were there when I created the world?" You want help- G-D gave us our fellow man. We are our brother's keeper. Reply

Richard Tenser Hershey, PA January 12, 2009

When evil is done by people, it is often concluded that it is the consequence of free will. That is, the free will of imperfect mankind may lead to evil decisions. However, that does not explain natural disasters which kill or maim thousands. Some religions have gotten around that by emphasizing the afterlife, i.e. things may be bad on earth, but this brief physical life willbe followed by an eternity of heaven. Reply

Anonymous Fairfax, VA January 10, 2009

Trust and Understanding Yes, trust is fundamental, but we learn through understanding. G-d wants us to learn. We said at Sinai we will do first and then understand. In fact we need both. We get angry when we sense injustice, but can G-d not do justice. The fact that we argue with G-d is that we don't always understand His justice. The bottom line is that if we had enough faith and trust we would not be upset. Understanding supports and strengthens our trust. Understanding can be a crutch for trust and faith. When understanding is not possible, then our faith in G-d is what we have to accept what has happened. Indeed much evil is done in this world by evil people. We can't blame G-d for what people do to people. We must understand why protection wasn't provided and have trust that G-d had a reason for this. Reply

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