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G-d's anger and changing His mind


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Cheshvan 17, 5772
Dear Rabbi If G-D can change his mind and not arrange that Moses would be the future of the generations so why cannot a prophet be counteracted by the most high and David’s line be eliminated. The oral law from what I have discovered only came into being concerning this subject 200 years later. Have you chronological dates for the oral law? Mike dehaan
Shalom Mike, Whenever the Bible mentions any seemingly human-like characteristic of G-d, it's speaking figuratively, and meant for our understanding. Just like when my little child hits me, I might put on an act, pretending and saying that it hurt (even if it didn't), in order to teach them not to do so, similarly if the Torah says that G-d became angry, it's in our better interest to think so, in order to improve our actions. Similarly, when the Torah infers that He changed His mind, the idea is for us not to be complacent, depending on His love, forgiveness or rely on promises or covenants, but to improve our actions as if He might really change His mind, get angry or whatever. G-d knew very well, way before Moses' sin that he would not be the one to bring them into Israel, nevertheless, it's important for us to know the ramifications of our actions (for even Moses…). Similarly, He knew that Benjamin's (through Saul's) lineage won't be the kings of Israel forever and that Judah's (through David) would be, as mentioned in Jacob's blessing to Judah many generations beforehand, but it's for our better interest to think and learn that reward and punishment is real (even when it was known beforehand…). Reward and punishment is an important aspect of religion, until we reach a higher level to act properly and idealistically for the sake of the ideal good itself. The oral law was given to Israel together with the written law on Sinai 3300 years ago (otherwise we wouldn't know what are phylacteries, citrons or many other unclear terms!), but a careful reading of Judah's blessing from Jacob reveals in several places, already in the written Torah that he will rule (as does Moses' blessing to Joseph, whose descendants from Efraim ruled temporarily over the Kingdom of Israel in the Book of Kings- Omri, Ahav, etc). With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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