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Old 06-14-2013, 10:00 PM
 
Location: earth?
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I was talking to a Jewish person recently and the subject of an accidental death came up and she told me that Jewish teachings are such that the time of death is considered in the hands of God and that it is understood that nothing could have been done to prevent it. When it's "your time to go, you go."

I didn't think of asking her about how the teachings applied to the Holocaust at the time or maybe it just seemed to blatantly insensitive (I think it was the latter).

So now I am asking you: Is this teaching true and if so, what is the origin of the teaching (can you quote something?) and how do you interpret the teaching related to the Holocaust.

Thank you and I apologize for my ignorance if this is considered a rude question.


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Old 06-15-2013, 09:35 PM
 
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One of the thirteen pillars of Jewish faith is that G-d did, does and will do everything. So, yes, this includes births and deaths.

Regarding the holocaust:

The Torah is very clear about what happens to us Jews if we abandon Him. The holocaust was one of the times that G-d turned away from us because we had turned away from Him. G-d gave us rules and warned us about consequences if we break those rules. There was much discussion about why the holocaust had happened, with the consensus being that it was a punishment for mass assimilation that had overtaken European Jewry, thanks to the enlightenment and the reform movement.

Yet, even in their darkest moment, survivors have an abundance of miracles to relate and were able to tap into the divine providence that kept them alive.Yes, G-d is in control over who lives and dies.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: small Southern town balabusta
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Even though that's the apparently the consensus, I don't believe that. I believe although G-d knows our time of death, the free will of men are what perpetrates evil on other men, women and children. The Nazis were in no way doing anything remotely related to G-d's will when that evil and injustice occurred.

Can we choose to find something good that arose from the evildoing, such as heroic acts and very steadfast and unwavering devotion to G-d and the Torah? Absolutely. Was it a lesson from G-d? We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Was it a lesson from G-d?
Not a lesson. A consequence. Read the tochacha in the Torah. It's all in there. The lesson is what we're supposed to derive from the consequence--namely, that throwing off the yoke of Judaism to fit in with gentiles will never be our salvation.

No. Nazis did not do the will of G-d. G-d forbids murder.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:27 PM
 
Location: small Southern town balabusta
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Thank you for the clarification. It's difficult to wrap my mind around it, but I will try so that I can grow and learn.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:09 PM
 
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Just to add to Iwish's excellent posts above, in addition to the the consequences for the the enlightenment (Reform and Conservative Judaism's shedding the yolk of Torah), we must remember that virtually 100% of European Torah Judaism was also wiped out, and we Torah Observant Jews must understand we too were being rebuked for our actions. We must all perform Tikkun Olam (often mistaken as repairing the world, but in fact Tikkun Olam is really perfecting our own character traits and observance of Torah mitzvos).
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