Rebbetzin Bashi Twersky speaks

In a earlier blog post, I felt that we need to be more nuanced in the way we express our opinions on why God allows/does things. One of the Seforim I learned back in days gone by was ספר העיקרים by one of the Rishonim, Rav Yosef Albo. It “spoke to me” at the time, and I used to learn it during Mussar Seder. I remember the Mashgiach noticed what I was doing, but he (sensibly) “let me be” and learn what my heart desired. He said nothing. I don’t know if they have reprinted this Sefer, but my original one seems to have gone walk about. If I remember correctly, it was in the second perek where he wrote a phrase which has stuck with me since

לו ידעתיו – הייתיו

If I knew Him (God), then I’d be Him.

In other words, attempts to know exactly why, are axiomatically impossible.

That doesn’t mean to say that one can’t surmise, one can’t draw lessons, or one can’t initiate a Drush. But, one can’t say this is why X happened, unless God himself, or a Navi is commanded to tell us.

I think her point below is excellent and salient. Some would say I’m even guilty of promoting it, which may be true, but isn’t and wasn’t ever my intention. My only quibble with what she says relates to the cause/effect nature of her statement which implies that we know for sure.

Again, I do not disagree with her point. She is clearly an intelligent lady. This is a snippet from the Jerusalem Post

Bashi Twersky, the widow of Rabbi Mosheh Twersky – who was killed in the Har Nof terrorist attack last week – said the internal divisions within the ultra-Orthodox community that have developed over the last two years were the (my emphasis) reason why her husband and three other members of the community died in the brutal incident.

Speaking at the mass prayer rally and ceremony held in the Jerusalem neighborhood on Tuesday night for the end of the shiva mourning period for the victims, Twersky said the dispute had become increasingly acrimonious over the last year in particular.

She was alluding to the establishment of a new political movement and party that is in competition with the traditional Degel Hatorah non-hassidic haredi party.

She said that the attack had been particularly brutal, and asked how such a death could befall those praying in synagogue, “how did the sanctity of the synagogue and prayer not defend us,” she asked.

“The fire of dispute has been burning among us for a year now, and this dispute became terrible, and every day it gets worse.”

“Someone who listens to a great rabbi different from the one I listen to, someone who belongs to a different camp from me is commanded to be cruel to them, is commanded to humiliate and disgrace them, to harass them with terrible brutality.

“When we behave with cruelty to our brothers, God sends a punishment with cruelty, measure for measure.

“In synagogues and study halls they persecuted, disgraced and humiliated those who think differently from me, and therefore we were struck by the attribute of strict justice in a synagogue at the time of prayer,” the rabbi’s wife said.

She added that strengthening religious observance, as has been advised by many rabbis, was not a good enough reaction, and that rather a “drastic change” was required.

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