Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Rape - does G-d want someone to be raped?

A young lady once came to me for a theological consultation. This poised cheerful woman told me that when she was 10 she had been raped by two young yeshiva students at a religious summer camp. As a result of this incident she went into severe depression, became suicidal, and was finally placed in a mental hospital for an extended time. She said that baruch hashem, she had recovered and was no longer depressed or obsessed with revenge. Her visit was precipitated by having just seen her assailants walking down the street in Geula in Jerusalem with their wives and children - as if they had never done anything evil. She said there was only one issue left from her experience which she couldn't come to grips with - Why did G-d want her to be raped?" All the rabbis she had consulted with told her that it was G-d's will and that while they couldn't explain it that it must have been good and necessary. She just had to accept it as G-d's will. Her problem was that she couldn't accept that she worshipped a G-d that wanted this horrible thing to happen. I answered her that she was being told the dominant chassidic/kabbalistic view. However I told her that the Rishonim had a different view, i.e., that it is possible for a man to chose to hurt another - even though G-d doesn't want it to happen. That she will be compensated in the Next World for her suffering but that G-d didn't cause it to happen. She was able to accept that view.

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