We thank G‑d for taking us out of Egypt, for rescuing us from the Holocaust, and for healing the sick. Isn't He the one who put us in Egypt, the one who made the Holocaust, the one who made a sick person sick? Is it not similar to thanking someone for stopping to beat you?


You're asking a good question. I've thought about this one many times. Here is one way I like to look at this:

When G‑d created the world, He gave it a natural order. Things generally go in cycles—"Everything changes except for change itself."

By this natural order, the Jewish People should have disappeared a long time ago—in Egypt, in fact. More than that: if a sociologist would visit the Jewish communities at any time in our long history, he would probably give them another 100 years or so until they disappear.

So we are thanking G‑d that He lifts us above the natural order of things, just as He lifted Abraham "above the stars"—meaning, above the rule of the cosmic cycle.

To some people, that's not such a blessing. They would rather be part of the natural order. But a Jew values closeness to an Infinite Creator of All Things far beyond anything that can be found in this world.

There are other ways of looking at this as well. Let me know your thoughts.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman for