el rachoom v’chanun…

Death toll nears 40,000 in Pakistan.
Earthquake in Pakistan

…erech apayim…

Avian Flu strikes 60 worldwide. Epidemic threatens.
Avian Flu Sufferer

…v’rav chesed v’emet…

Hundreds of Katrina Victims Remain Unidentified
Victim of Katrina

…notzer chesed la’alafim…

Mudslides in Guatemala Kills at Least 500; Food Shortage Looms Large.
Guatamalan Mudslide

…noseh avon, vafesha, v’chata’ah, v’nakeh.

Quake, tsunamis kill more than 26,000
Tsunami Victims

Ahdam yessodo meh afar, v’sofo l’afar…

About the author

grandmuffti

20 Comments

  • …Roughly 6,000,000,000 sentient beings able to go about life, appreciate the world, laugh, cry, have children, explore the stars, and blog.

    Not only could that be taken away in a second, it never had to come about to begin with. Life, its evolution, and its continued existence were never necessities in this universe. We should appreciate how amazing it is.

    Muffti–you see tragedy and extrapolate to a lack of meaning in the world. Sometimes, try to see it the opposite way: the fragility of life and human existence can remind you how amazing conscious beings are and how wonderful it is that you can have that thought.

  • what Muffti you’ve never seen South Park.Everybody’s going to hell because they are infidel heathens.Everybody except the Mormons.

  • To you too, TM! Muffti has been in Winnipeg for a few days at a conference.

    1.5, Muffti sees meaning in the world; it’s the source of meaning that is the topic of dispute. Everyday Muffti does appreciate immensley his being alive and able to think such thoughts. In a sense, it’s easy for us to do that: we aren’t one of the people in the situations above (yet).

  • You know, none of this would have happened if those cushim would just study Torah. Geez.

    Although, on a more serious note, it’s not like the issue of theodicy is exactly new. I mean, hell, the writers of the Tanakh devoted a whole book to it and basically came to the conclusion, “Yeah, God will really, really fuck you over sometimes just for the hell of it no matter how swell of a dude you are.” So it’s not like the Muffti is being unduly cynical even by the standards of our own religion.

  • I didn’t suggest that Muffti cannot find meaning in life. I just pointed out the hypocrisy of attributing the bad to God (or lack thereof, in Muffti’s belief) but not the good. And by good, I don’t mean just clothes, shelter, etc…but the fact that my physical structure at even subatomic levels seems to hold wonderfully and predictably intact to allow me to experience the world.

    And sure, its super-easy for us to remain strong in faith when it isn’t our families buried in the rubble. But, its a disingenuous distinction to make when you hear so many survivors on the Gulf coast or in Pakistan referring to the strength their faith gives them. We all know that many people become religious after a trauma.

  • 1.5, Muffti agrees that it would be hypocritical, or at least inconsistent, to only attribute the bad to God. As you point out, Muffti certainly doesn’t attribute the bad things that happen to God, Rabbi Ovadiah’s comments/jokes aside. Muffti was merely offering some food for thought and trying his hand at some juxtapositioning.

    One point to make, that Muffti is sure everyone is sick of hearing: God, as our tradition concieves of him, is not like a girlfriend where you take the good with the bad.

  • Oh, sorry Dvorah! If only Muffti had known. Other than the murder rate, the massive native canadian poverty and the weather, nice town!

    Muffti has a friend that teaches out there. He’ll try to come back. Will you show him the wildness that the ‘peg is capable of?

  • Of course there are, silly. Just not very many. Here‘s some stats. Winnipeg is tied for highest murder rate in Muffti’s homeland: about 5/100,000.

    New Orleans, for what it’s worth, had approx. 55/100000 murders last year.

  • Interesting stats. Why don’t the angry spouses divorce their wives/husbands instead of killing them? Why do children kill their parents? How could parents kill their children?

    Anyway, if you ever return to Canada, it would appear that you should move to Thunder Bay. It seems the likelihood of being murdered up there is about as likely as being killed by a moose.

    Eh?

  • I’m sure we could work sumthin’ out muffti. However, concidering the time of year… it hasn’t been ALL that bad weatherwise.

    As for the murder rate… we’re the “murder capital” on a per capita basis… never mind the population of this city is around 700,000. 10 people (yes it’s something that shouldn’t happen at all and I’m not trying to belittle) are murdered in a year here and we qualify as the “murder capital”. 😛

  • Ugh… I’d like to point out that that emoticon is sticking its tongue out… bad graphics bad.

  • Actually, Muffti thinks that it was 38 last year in total.

    Anyhow, Muffti doesn’t mind a murderous town; he chilled with Michael in New Orleans which is a real muder capital. Anyhow, next time Muffti comes by, he’ll be glad to go out and try to find some action in winnipeg witcha.

    And stop sticking your tongue out!

  • hey, i think just about everyone missed the point of your post, mufti. or maybe i just read into things a little too much. what i got was not cynicism toward God, but just sadness. Pretty much all of these horrible natural disasters are the result of exploitative and irresponsible decisions made by human beings. Which isn’t to blame the victims, but governments of the world who have no real regard for the consequences of their actions. Case in point: global warming, which our bullshit administration still denies even exists. If something was being done right now to cut down on the rapid release of fossil fuels into the atmosphere, which is completely possible, then we would actually be doing something to prevent further suffering from “natural” disasters. another example: FEMA and others’ non-response to Katrina victims. Not just after the Hurricane, but the President cutting funding from the federal budget for the explicit plan to renovate the levees. as for avian flu, people have been talking for years about how we can prevent a flu epidemic in the world, and in the states. and now all of a sudden, we’re so surprised, when no one with any real power to issue mass vaccinations or supplies has done anything at all. you can blame God, sure, but that just ignores the evil being perpetrated by mankind, especially mankind in power. there are plentiful resources in the world to feed every single person, but the vast majority are going to the vast minority of people, or going to feed cattle for meat in wealthy countries. in this day and age, natural and moral evil become one and the same, when the gross negligence of governments in enforcing environmental laws or acting to alleviate suffering results in needless deaths. ignoring this and blaming God is another way of freeing ourselves from responsibiliy of doing anything to change how things are and to alleviate suffering.
    so let’s stop whining at God and do something. We can donate food for free at thehungersite.com, get involved with Katrina relief, explore the AJWS website and actions, go to http://www.savedarfurcoalition.org, write letters to Congress and FEMA, etc. etc. etc. Our human potential to create good out of destruction is staggeringly great; it is what we were created to do. Let’s do it.
    Chag Sameach 🙂

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