If people harbor so many questions about what Hashem does, why don't they ask Him, 'Under what light should I view the fact that I was able to eat three meals yesterday?'
by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Under what light are we to understand tragedies in the Orthodox community when children are killed?
I was waiting for that question. Under what light?! I'll tell you. When you come to the Heavenly Court after a hundred and twenty years, you'll ask Hashem to explain it to you. How could I know? Did I know the children who died? I don't know their history. Do you know their history? I don't know anything about them.
I'll tell you one little story, though. Not directly connected with this. A different story, but it's important to get out of the habit of blaming Hashem. People are too busy pointing a finger at Hashem when they should be filling their minds with gratitude to Hashem. Once there was a girl - a young woman. And she was riding in a taxicab in Brooklyn. And the taxicab bumped into another car. And together they bumped into a telephone pole. And the pole fell on her and she died. The poor girl, it killed her.
Now, I'm not capable of telling you anything but I'll tell you something that happened with a girl. Maybe it was the same girl. I don't want to say. Once there was a poor teacher and she was trying to make a living. You know that it's not always easy making a living. So she was teaching a class of girls. And there were forty girls in the class. One of the girls in the back of the class mimicked the teacher's voice. And she did it all the time. All the time! And the teacher was very much embarrassed - very embarrassed, very hurt. But what could she do? It's her livelihood. So she kept quiet. She kept quiet but she was terribly hurt.
Now maybe this girl forgot about what she did. And maybe the teacher forgot about her pain. But Hashem doesn't forget. He might give you time to fix your mistake - to do teshuva - but when you don't, and instead you forget about it, He doesn't forget. You hear that?! Hashem doesn't forget.
So we can't explain anything. Look, we don't know the people, so we'll say that they were perfect tzaddikim. We don't know, so that's what we'll have to say. They were tzaddikim and Hashem has His reasons. That's all. Finished.
When you come to the Next World at the age of a hundred and twenty, Hashem will explain it to you better and you'll understand more. But until then, you must know that He has reasons.
I've been here many years and I have heard similar questions many times. These questions are asked here all the time. But nobody ever asked me, "Under what light should I view the fact that this week, I was able to walk in the street with fully functioning legs?" All week long you walked without any difficulties! Or, "Under what light should I view the fact I was able to eat three meals yesterday? Or that my lungs were working all day long and I never even stopped once to thank Hashem?" These are the questions you should be asking yourself. So get busy training yourself to thank Hashem for all the good He's giving you and that will go a long way towards answering your questions.
Rabbi Avigdor Miller of saintly and blessed memory was one of the great spiritual leaders of Torah Jewry in America during the previous generation. With a courageous commitment to truth, he feared no one but Hashem. As a young man, he left the comforts of America to learn in the Slavodka Yeshiva in Lithuania from 1932-1938. We are honored to feature his writings, from the TorasAvigdor organization in Brooklyn, New York.