This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: Matthew Williams THL Dr. Inati 16 December 2007 The Problem of Evil in Judaism The problem of evil in Judaism is a long debated and controversial topic that has received much attention and many attempts at solutions through the ages. The problem of evil Judaism is perhaps unique to other religions because the Jewish people have throughout history been the bearers of much suffering through events like their slavery in Egypt, the Exodus and 40 year wandering in the desert, the destruction of the temple, decline and eventual loss of Israel, their status as targets for discrimination in Europe, and the Holocaust. Due to this history, the problem is approached very differently than in Christianity or Islam because almost all Jewish philosophy on the subject has a focus on understanding the occurrences that are considered central to the Jewish people's history, like the book of Job and the Holocaust. The Jewish theodicy is unique because these two events consist of so much suffering, misfortune, and evil and are very much a part of the Jewish experience. A great deal has been written involving the book of Job and the Holocaust as it relates to Judaism. The theodicy laid down in the Book of Job has continued all the way to modern times. It is primarily a theodicy that does not wholly concern itself with the origin or problem of evil, but how to properly respond to such evil. The book of Job is the first recorded attempt by Jewish philosophers and theologians to understand the point of suffering and the problem of evil in this world, particularly how the concept of God is reconciled with the existence of evil. The book of Job explores these questions in poetic prose form, it is considered one of the five books of wisdom in the Old Testament. The book of Job is held to be the book that teaches one how to suffer. This is an interesting proposition as it seems that if one must be instructed on how to suffer correctly within the laws of the religion, then it seems that one is conceding from the beginning that suffering is inevitable and that one cannot escape either suffering or evil. This is the view that the book of Job ultimately takes. Job is described as a very successful and wealthy man of great virtue and faith, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil (Job 1:8). God permits Satan to put Job to the test after Satan says that Job only faithfully serves God because of his worldly possessions if one were to remove them then, he will curse thee to thy face (Job 1:11). Satan tests Job mentally and physically, he takes Job's children, his servants, his riches, his house, and his livestock until Job has nothing left. Job does not curse God, but instead, rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground, and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.' In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD....
View Full Document