Elisha Ben Abuyah questioning of justice: It is said that once, while sitting in the valley of Gennaser, Aher saw a man climb to the top of a palm tree on Shabbat, take the mother bird with the young, and descend in safety. At the end of Shabbat, he saw another man climb to the top of the same palm tree, take the young but let the mother bird go free. As he descended, a snake bit him and he died. Elisha exclaimed: It is written, “Let the mother go and take only the young, that you may fare well and have a long life” (Devarim 22:7). Where is the well-being of this man and where is the prolonging of his life?
The story presents the problem of theodicy – why do good people suffer? The book of Job is the classic text for grappling with the issue of the apparent injustice of human suffering. We will read relevant excerpts from the text and other readings in dealing with this important religious subject.
We will look forward to a lively discussion.