900.20b Evil and Hester (pps.142-143)

hard cover page 143

This is the same Midrash which Rashi selected as the basis for his exegesis. Leibowitz incorporates and ties together the themes of Israel’s suffering, Divine Hester, and Divine suffering.

He who has decreed persecution and suffering on the seed of Abraham, and hid his face from them, for centuries, is not a cruel Deity, arbitrarily abusing His creatures. . . . He suffers with them, as the Psalm expresses it: “I will be with them in trouble” (Psalms 91:5). 557

Twelve sentences following the first mention of the burning bush, the Divine relates His name to Moses: Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh, “I-Will-Be-That-Which-I-Will-Be.” The God of Potential suffers alongside His children, through the millennia, just as the burning thornbush’s travail is not quenched.

The Midrash explains the double usage of Eheyeh: “I will be with you in your current suffering, and I will be with you in your future travail.”

A third-century Midrash pictures God as waking up in the middle of the night and roaring in pain like a wounded lion, for His Temple is burned, and His people are exiled.558

——————- NOTES ——————-

557 Leibowitz, Studies in Shemot, p. 60.

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