February 25: Let’s be blunt

It is pure chutzpah for such “pious” Jews to pretend to know the ways of God.

Let’s be blunt
Sir, – I have only praise for Judy Montagu’s gentle condemnation of those “good Jews” who claim to know why God has punished certain individuals when they suffer some sort of disaster in their lives (“‘God’s policemen,’” In My Own Write, February 23).
Again, Montagu demonstrates her masterful English in portraying some of the explanations by such selfrighteous Jews. But I would more bluntly add that it is pure chutzpah for such “pious” Jews to pretend to know the ways of God.
The prophet Isaiah states (55:8): “For My thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.” Some might describe Isaiah as overly fatalistic, but reality often leaves us with questions about God’s actions.
Still, who among us, even the most religious, can claim direct access to God’s motives?
Petah Tikva
Sir, – To the biblical quotations Judy Montagu evokes in describing the inscrutability of God, she might have quoted Ecclesiastes 5:1: “Be not rash with your mouth and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God; for God is in heaven and you are on earth.”
This is from King Solomon, the wisest of all men.
Sir, – I applaud Judy Montagu.
God’s ways are mysterious to man, and perhaps there is some comfort in knowing this. We strive to fulfill His commandments and reach the goals He has set for us, and with that in mind comes the strength that He is there for and with us.
All who sacrificed their lives, whether it be in the Holocaust or in the Carmel Fire, are heroes who died sanctifying God’s name.
Each one is a martyr. For our people they will always be examples of man being created in God’s image.
How dare anyone judge them.
Petah Tikva
Sir, – I am enraged when people have the gall to decipher God’s mind. They should remember Aaron’s response when his two sons were struck down: “And Aaron was silent” (Leviticus 10:3). I vividly remember the IDF’s disastrous failure in 1994 to free Nachson Wachsman, a religious Jew, from the dungeon in which he had been imprisoned by terrorists. Both Wachsman and Captain Nir Poraz, one of his rescuers, were killed in the operation.
The Torah (Exodus 15:14- 16) tells us how the surrounding nations heard of the miraculous salvation of the Jewish people from the Egyptian army. So, too, was there widespread viewing of the prayers of thousands of Jews for Wachsman’s freedom as the scene at the Kotel was televised around the world. Alas, no miraculous rescue occurred then.
Beware dark forces
Sir, – People are calling for democracy in many countries now, especially in the Middle East. But democracy is being hijacked by dark forces that are using it for their own ends. These forces, such as militant Islam, are not really committed to democracy. They use “democracy” as a slogan so they can demand support from democratic countries around the world.
Where will it lead? Oppressed people crave democracy, and rightfully so. However, this movement is being manipulated by anti-democratic forces.
We saw it happen 30 years ago in Iran. The mullahs turned the people’s legitimate striving for democracy into an Islamist dictatorship.
The same forces are now using the slogan “Democracy!” to turn world opinion in their favor and gain support.
They are infiltrating Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Yemen and the Gulf states, whose people are in danger of losing the freedom they are fighting for.
Free people the world over must stand united to combat these dark forces and help true democracy develop and survive in the Middle East.

Rosh Hanikra