Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home2/torah/public_html/learning/basics/primer/torah/job.html:5) in /home2/torah/public_html/ssi/header.php3 on line 314

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home2/torah/public_html/learning/basics/primer/torah/job.html:5) in /home2/torah/public_html/ssi/header.php3 on line 318
Job (Iyov) - Torah.org Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 

Job (Iyov)

Job is a book that ranks as one of the most difficult books in theTanach (Bible), for two reasons:

  1. Its incredibly complex and obscure Hebrew - allowing for multiple translations and meanings.
  2. The complex and delicate nature of the subject matter.
Like anything in life, the reward for success reflects the amount of effort put in. Therefore, there must be a lot to gain from the deep study of the book of Job.

The story of Job is very simple: it is a conversation between G-d and one of His loyal angels (called: Satan). Satan claims that Job isn't such a great servant, and that he only serves G-d because he is wealthy and things are always going his way. G-d gives Satan the right to test Job, saying "do anything to him, but don't take his life." And so in a very short time, Job's immense wealth disappears, his seven sons die and Job himself is afflicted with a painful disease.

That is the basic story. The final 38 (out of 40) chapters of the book detail Job's response to what has happened, his conversations with his friends. Finally, G-d's answers the main question of the book: how could such a thing have befallen a righteous person? In other words: why do bad things happen to good people? Is G-d really in control of this world? Is He just?

So what's the Jewish answer to those famous questions? Job's friends suggest that perhaps Job isn't as clean as he thinks he is, maybe there's some sin for which G-d is now punishing him.

According to Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (the 12th Century commentator known as the Ramban), that answer would have been a good enough for most of the world. There are very few people who go through life with absolutely no sin, and G-d, who is in charge of this world, and is a just judge, most definitely punishes.

But according to the Ramban, this answer won't answer Job's question, because he really was clean. When G-d finally spoke to Job at the end of the book He answered differently: In essence, He told Job that "I am G-d, and you are only a tiny, finite human being - you can't possibly hope to understand the way I run My world. Everything I do is just, even if you can't see the justice."

Read the Ramban's introduction to his commentary on the book of Job for a deeper understanding of how Job's lot was truely just. The bottom line in Jewish thought is: G-d runs the world, He is just and everything that happens is just... even though we can't always see how that is so.


Rabbi Boruch Clinton teaches at the Ottawa Torah Institute yeshiva high school and Machon Sarah high school for girls (both in Ottawa, Canada). You may reach him with comments and questions at bclinton@torah.org.

You can now read some of Rabbi Clinton's essays on Torah life at http://www.ncf.ca/~es625/essays

You can also buy his collection of essays on the Book of Shmuel (Samuel) in printed form at www.lulu.com/marbitzmedia

Copyright 2000 by Rabbi Boruch Clinton and Project Genesis, Inc.


 

ARTICLES ON TERUMAH:

View Complete List

The Famous Ark
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

A Love Based on Nothing
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5756

Make Way!
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The True "Gift" of Life
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

A Place To Grow
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Workout
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Saving Face
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

Temples Without Walls
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

The Only Thing You Can Take With You Is Your Dining Room Table
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

> The Power of Unity
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

A Special Collection for the Sockets?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

The Devil Is In The Details
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

ArtScroll

Try Try Again
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5768

Build Your Own Coffin
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Looking a Gift House In The Mouth
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Going Up?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information