Divine Justice by Yoel Eis


“The mighty Rock, His deeds are perfect, for all His ways are justice.  He is a God of faithfulness and without fault; He is just and fair” (Devarim 32:4).

Parshat Haazinu, the second to last Parsha in the Torah, includes the final teachings of Moshe to Bnai Yisrael.  The above verse is the first statement following the few introductory lines of the song of Haazinu.  Its selection as the opening statement is indicative of its importance.

When we see things that appear to be unjust, we may question Divine wisdom.  There is so much suffering in the world that we can only sit back in amazement and wonder how this could occur in a just world.  Moshe himself asked Hashem to reveal the secret of Divine justice, but Moshe’s request was denied.

Moshe’s devotion to Hashem and his loyalty as the shepherd of the flock during the forty years of wandering in the desert certainly earned him a reward.  Moshe had only one request: to be allowed to enter Eretz Yisrael.  Was this too big a request?  Was Moshe’s hitting the rock instead of speaking to it so grave a transgression that it warranted the severest of all possible punishments?  Could Hashem not find it within His infinite mercy to forgive Moshe’s one sin?

The Midrash tell us that Moshe brought 515 pleas before Hashem that would have shattered a heart of stone, yet Hashem, Who is of infinite mercy, would not budge.

Moshe’s first statement in Haazinu is, “Hashem is perfect, just, and fair.  All His ways are justice.”  Did Moshe understand why Hashem was not giving in?  Obviously not, because if he did he would not have kept persisting to have the decree revoked.  Moshe’s statement was one of absolute faith.  It was his acceptance of Divine judgment being perfect even though it defied all logic.

At times we may pray fervently and sincerely for mercy from Hashem, and if our Tefilot go unanswered we may be resentful.  Moshe did not teach us that we must approve of Divine judgment, but rather that we must accept it and have faith that somehow it is perfect, fair, and just.  (Living Each Week, Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski)

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