Re: How to pray regarding evildoers

Hillel E. Markowitz (hem@hrb.com)
Sun, 04 May 1997 09:30:50 -0400 (EDT)

Russell Jay Hendel wrote:
> >A final thought for support: The great Gersonidees (Ralbag) states: "The
> >mercy to the wicked is cruelty for the righteous". If these people do NOT
> >die then the people they persecute will suffer terribly.

NBlass@aol.com responded:
>> But don't even wicked people need compassion???

The problem is what is true "compassion". Having "compassion" on a serial
killer and freeing him to kill again is false compassion. Bruryah the
wife of Rabbi Meir had her husband pray that a band of robbers do tshuva
[repent] in the true sense of the word. However, doing tshuvah implies
recompensing those harmed and accepting on oneself whatever punishment is
required. Had they not done teshuvah, THEN, Rabbi Meir would have been
justified in praying for their death.

Shaul Hamelech "had compassion" on Agag and spared his life, leading to
Haman. This inappropriate mercy also led to the murder of the kohanim of
the city of Nov and the deaths of Shaul's grandchildren.

| Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Im ain ani li, mi li? |
| H.E.Markowitz@hrb.com | V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha |