Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day 4

Warning: Religious Post

Do bad things really happen specifically during the 9 days? I was discussing this with my brother who got into a car accident. He wanted to know what I thought about those people who got a "pass" during the 9 days and nothing bad happened to them.
Here is part of my general philosophy (I've heard bits and pieces of this floating around various rabonim, so it isn't completely made up) - If you include God in your life and attribute events that occur towards his presence then God makes his presence more visible. If you attribute events that occur to coincidence and you take a more natural approach to life, then God's presence is not as visible to you.
In other words, part of our freedom of choice includes whether we live a spiritual life or a natural life. One story that exemplifies this freedom of choice happened a number of years ago before we moved to Israel. We were in Toronto for shabbos and someone smashed my car window. It cost me $250 to fix and a bit of aggravation. We drove back home without further incident until we got to the border. My wife gave the border guard her temporary resident papers and he looked at it and said that it was expired. We talked to him for a bit and he said this time he would let us go, but normally it would be a $250 fine. I was struck by the fact that God had let me know in no uncertain terms that I had to lose $250 that weekend. It didn't matter whether it happened by my car being broken, bad paperwork or the refrigerator breaking.
However, it is just as easy (or maybe easier) to not relate the 2 events at all. Bad Luck on the car (what did you expect from Canadian hoolums), Good Luck with the border guards (they did admit that the immigration office was 2 months behind in their paperwork so there was no way for us to have gotten the current documentation).

I believe that if this time you say they are unrelated then you have chosen to diminish God's presence in your life and therefore the next time he won't make it as obvious. (ie the border guard will just let you pass without giving you a hassle and telling you how much you would have had to pay.) If you attribute it to God then you have chosen to increase Gods presence in your life. That lets you more easily see the connection between 2 events in a spiritual way.

During the 9 days, God spits at people, but only those people who have chosen to have God in their life will know that they got spat on. Not everyone gets spat on, but those that do got spat on because of the 9 days. Those that don't include God in their lives are more or less ignored by God. Personally, I prefer God to be involved all the time and I am willing to take 9 days of getting spit on in return for getting taken care of the rest of the year. We have lots of examples where things just happened to occur at exactly the right time or didn't occur until we absolutely needed them. (Like finding a job the week we ran out of money)


Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. I don't know if I totally agree with it, but it's definitely given me some food for thought. I have a question, though. If I consider G-d to be a significant part of my every day life, yet nothing of "significance" happens to me during the 9 days, does that me that even-though I think I'm spiritual instead of natural I'm wrong and am not as spiritual as I thought?

rockofgalilee said...

There are people who profit during recession and people who made fortunes during the great depression. Just because it is a BAD TIME doesn't mean everyone is going to be hit.

Anonymous said...

But, does it say anything about both side? Those that are hit and those that aren't.

Lexa said...

I love your thoughts here. I have found this to be very true, regardless of whether is God or other forces. It's like you acknowledge the hand and then you see it everywhere. It makes me wonder if my Fundie sister needs to stop seeing the devil everywhere before he gets present enough to grab her butt and slap her in the face.

Unknown said...

It actually says that it is a bad time for the Jewish people and suggests that if you have a court date during that time period then you should push it off.

It doesn't say that after you push off your court date you will probably fall down the stairs and break your leg. Just that it is generally considered a bad time.

That doesn't mean that everyone will get smacked.

Unknown said...


I've seen people who made the devil real enough until it just smacked them in the head.