Saturday, October 09, 2010

Ralbag on Noach

Ralbag (Rabbi Levi ben Gershon) has a very interesting explanation of the Tower of Bavel. He says that they really didn't do anything wrong, except that G-d wanted them to spread around the world, rather than stay in one place. Why did they need to spread over the world?

He writes that if they were all living in one place, then if a natural disaster (e.g. earthquake, hurricane, tsunami) happened, the entire human race would be wiped out. G-d wanted them spread to different locations so that even if one part of the world was destroyed the human race would continue.

This means that even though G-d interacts with the world, and watches what goes on (and is directly involved), He does not wish to intervene in the natural course of events, and when nature dictates that disasters occur, G-d choses not to prevent it - even to save the entire human race! G-d would rather perform the one-time miracle of mixing up the languages and separating the nations, than get involved to save a country from 'Acts of G-d' (which according to Ralbag are really not acts of G-d at all, but acts of nature).

You can read it here on Hebrew Books

Next time someone suggests to you that the latest catastrophe is caused by (pick the sin of your choice)
a) gay pride parade
b) tight clothing
c) listening to Shweky disks
d) anything else any Rabbi doesn't like at any time
point out this Ralbag to them and see how they understand it.

Shavua Tov

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