70.03 “Protest Literature” (pps.48-50)

hard cover page 48

From its beginning, Israel has never yielded its right to call for a rational Divine justice, to ask that God’s justice be morally justifiable and answerable, as well, to the standard He has set for man.189

Scriptural writings, commencing with Abraham, give standing to the doctrine that God’s inscrutability is nevertheless held to the moral standards expostulated for man.190 The Divine, as well, in the cases of Sodom and Nineveh, for instance, is portrayed as yielding to the universally perceived moral standard at the expense of elements of Divine prestige.

And Abraham drew near, and said:
“Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous
with the wicked?
Peradventure there are fifty righteous within the city;
wilt Thou indeed sweep away and not forgive the place
for the fifty righteous that are therein?
That be far from Thee to do after this manner,
to slay the righteous with the wicked,
that so the righteous should be as the wicked;
that be far from Thee;
shall not the Judge of all the earth do justly?”
—Genesis 18:23-25

Right wouldest Thou be, O Lord,
Were I to contend with Thee,
Yet will I reason with Thee:
Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper?
Wherefore are all they secure that deal very treacherously?
Thou has planted them, yea, they have taken root;
They grow, yea, they bring forth fruit;
Thou art near in their mouth,
And far from their reins.
—Jeremiah 12:1-2

——————- NOTES ——————-

189 See Schulweis, “Suffering and Evil,” p. 200.

190 Cf. Ibn Gabirol, The Royal Crown. “I will flee from Thee to Thyself, and I will shelter myself from Thy wrath in Thy shadow; and to the skirts of Thy mercies I will lay hold until Thou hast had mercy on me. I will not let Thee go until Thou hast blessed me.” Cited by Schulweis, “Suffering and Evil.”


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