Minute 800: Cause and Effect

“I’m so sorry,” Mr. Blau said. “He was in my high school class and although we didn’t communicate regularly, we always made a point to keep in touch from time to time.”

“I know,” Mrs. Stringer replied softly. “He would mention you often. He was not only fond of you; he also respected your accomplishments.”

“I’ve heard several different things that they’re calling ‘cause of death,’” Mr. Blau said. “What was the real reason?”

“It was his time,” Mrs. Stringer replied with certainty.

When someone passes away, people become interested in the cause of death. Some blame a medical condition and others attribute the death to circumstances at the moment the neshamah departs. It’s always something! People rarely say the malach hamavet was carrying out Hashem’s orders. The inevitability of the event is undeniable but the precision with which it occurs, based on the control of our Maker, is rarely acknowledged. There’s a time and a place for everyone and Hashem arranges many factors to insure that the plan from Above is carried out below.

Shlomo Hamelech said: “Men of evil will not understand judgment, but those who seek Hashem will understand all” (Mishlei 28:5). Wicked people feel, as Amalek does, that life is a series of circumstances that cause a vast variety of results; much of what happens is subject to chance. This misguided perception deters one from seeing the “hand” of Hashem and His will micromanaging human affairs. The result is a failure to repent.

Those who seek Hashem see His controlling “hand” and attribute all that happens to His will. The piecemeal picture of unrelated events that the wicked see is transformed into an intricate master plan by those who see all that is involved. Only those who see ALL can understand. The cause is always Hashem and the effect is always what He wants.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

… there is one term that, more than any other, contains the essence of Judaism. That is the Hebrew word kedushah, translated as “holiness” or “sanctity”… The word has many significant additional connotations, such as “separate,” “apart,” “unique,” “different,” “prepared,” but primarily it connotes the idea of separation from the merely physical. (Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, On Judaism, p. 115)