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    Why didn’t God send a miracle to save us? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why didn’t God send a miracle to save the martyrs of the Holocaust?

    A. There are many who accuse God for failing to step in, and many who say that there are times when we have to believe whilst not completely understanding the ways of the Almighty.

    Some Holocaust theologians speak of times of hastarat panim, God “hiding His face” and then emerging, as it were, from hiding.

    The view of Eliezer Berkovits is that “hiding the face” is logically necessary if man is to have free will; with free will man can choose deeds of hatred as well as deeds of love, but God cannot intervene and stop him from committing acts of hatred or else free will would mean nothing.

    Trude Weiss-Rosmarin wrote, “Reliance on God in situations where human action is required is courting disaster. ‘The earth is given to mankind’ (Psalm 115:16), and we must take charge of life…”

    Weiss-Rosmarin points out that one Simchat Torah the Lubavitcher Rebbe felt ill with chest pains and eight heart specialists were summoned: “Of course, the Chasidim recited Psalms and prayed for the Rebbe’s recovery, but neither the Rebbe nor his many thousands of followers the world over relied upon or expected God to act instead of the Rebbe’s physicians.”

    If we ask why God did not send a miracle during the Holocaust, an answer might therefore be that He tried; He hoped that human beings would themselves be the miracle and would speak out and act to save the victims, but many failed to live up to their miraculous potentialities.

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