Tuesday, December 2, 2008

1:6:81-84: Answering the Why

The Section "David and the Works of the Lord" contains two lovely midrashim. The first tries to answer the question of theodicy. It finds a rationale for something considered "evil," madness and justifies it because it allowed David to escape from King Achish. While it teaches a wonderful lesson in humility, it doesn't really justify madness. Must the many suffer to save King David once?

The second story about the wasp and the spider attempts to show that all pieces fit into creation and are needed. Again, the midrash justifies the two creatures for David's personal gain. Today we are able to understand the ecology of these two insects. To me ecology and the wondrous ways in which the world fits together make me appreciate G!d all the more. Not philospically or scientifically but through emotion and feeling. I think the Rabbis who wrote this material may have had a greater sense of awe than we do so this midrash could build on that. Would that we with our knowledge of the universe would use that knowledge to praise G!d not to destroy Her universe.

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