Friday, January 7, 2011

Animal deaths = tenth plague?

What if the animal deaths this week are a huge chesed (act of lovingkindness) of Hashem, an enactment of only the animal toll of makat bechorot (death of the first-borns)?

וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ-מִצְרַיִם, בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה, וְהִכֵּיתִי כָל-בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, מֵאָדָם וְעַד-בְּהֵמָה; וּבְכָל-אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים, אֲנִי יְהוָה

And I will pass through the land of Egypt on this night, and smite all firstborns in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.

After the carmel fire, Rabbi Uri Shreki, head of the Israeli division of Machon Meir, said the Carmel fire was the attribute of judgment taking its toll, in what could have been a much greater disaster. Considering what could have been, the way things happened derived from the "total kindness of Hashem".

It is also worth noting that Uri Shreki, whose article was brought to my attention last month by Yeranen Yaakov, did not take the view that am yisrael 'deserved' the fire, h"v. Rather, he said the fire was in the category of 'yissurim shel ahava', or 'sufferings of love', where Hashem sends ordeals to his favorites, the heavy price which is only worth it in light of what's ahead.

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