Jerusalemites suffered two disasters during the recent few days. In one of them, a building exploded due to a gas leak. A whole family – a father, a mother and a little baby – were killed. The other disaster involved a poorly-carried-out extermination of pests, which also resulted in the poisoning of two little baby girls. Their two older brothers are now hospitalized, and their lives are still in great risk.
My heart goes out to the poor parents. Still, several things said by them on public TV made me wonder.
While almost everyone else was busy looking for whom to blame, and how to prevent such things from reoccurring in the future, the poor parents never thought anything human was wrong. “God wanted them near him,” was the explanation supplied by them to the events. Furthermore, in order to rescue the remaining boys, they didn’t approach the medical staff. Instead, they asked everyone to pray as hard as possible for the small kids.
The Hebrew Talmud wisely instructs not to judge another person’s sorrow. People going through such tragedies are perfectly entitled to express themselves irrationally. The thing that deserves criticism is the huge educational system, which brings up people believing in the praying of others as the primary solution for one’s problems.
This mystical attitude towards real life is in the basis of problems, not their solutions. If the gas technicians and the extermination staff were more involved in earthly matters, these disasters wouldn’t have happened to begin with.