The Missing Puzzle Pieces
Ha'azinu (Deuteronomy 32 )
The Rock! – perfect is His work, for all His paths are justice; a God of faith without iniquity, righteous and fair is He. (32:4)
Few people need to be convinced that God created the world. However, situations may occur that are difficult to comprehend and leave even believers with many questions. There is a higher level of belief in God: not only did He create the world, but He is intimately involved in its day-to-day running. Hashem presses all the buttons and causes all events to occur, right down to the last detail.1
It is for this reason that the Torah put the first commandment in the context of the exodus: “I am your God who has taken you out of the land of Egypt.” Even though it would have been logical for God to identify himself as the Creator of the universe, a more all-inclusive title than that of engineer of the exodus, God was teaching us that He is also deeply involved in our everyday lives, intervening to pluck us out of Egypt.
A guest in a village did not understand why the more important members of the shul sat at the back, while the beggars and paupers sat at the front. When he questioned the shul president about it he was told, “You are confused because you are here for only one Shabbos. If you would be here every Shabbos you would understand that we have a procedure of alternating places which, over the course of a year, is fair to everybody.” The Chofetz Chaim uses this parable to demonstrate that our questions and doubts over God’s supervision of the world are due to our lack of understanding. God’s management of this world is based on considerations of a 6,000 year time period. We are in this world for a sum total of 70, 80, or maybe 90 years. How can we expect to know the answers when we are missing parts of the puzzle?
1. Darkei Mussar