For Haazinu: All His Ways Are Justice

Justice means mercy, but also retribution.

HaRav Avigdor Miller zts"l

Judaism HaRav Avigdor Miller zts"l
HaRav Avigdor Miller zts"l
INN:Toras Avigdor

Mishpat means neither kindness or cruelty, but "judgment," which implies exactitude and measurement. All of Hashem's ways of conduct of affairs of men's lives, and the affairs of nations, and of the processes of nature and of the circumstances of this earth and of all heavenly bodies and of Space, and of the circumstances of this life and of the Afterlife, are all managed by Hashem in precise measure according to the behavior of men. Misfortune does therefore never come for no reason.

Sometimes misfortune may be a blessing in disguise, and sometimes it is because of men's misbehavior. Therefore when men desire happiness, they must exert themselves to please Hashem by correcting their deeds, "for all His ways are justice." "The fourth preface (to the Trust in Hashem): that his attention should be strong and his endeavor should be great to fulfill whatever the Creator obligates him in His service and to do all His Mitzvos, and to beware of all that He admonished order that the Creator should agree to his request" (Chovos Halvovos, Bitachon 3).

"Said Rabbi Hanina: When one states that the Holy One blessed is He is indulgent (i.e. overlooks and neglects to punish), his own life will be overlooked (i.e. he shall perish)" (Bava Kama 50A). It is therefore essential that men learn this principle of Hashem's insistence upon the fulfillment of His laws and His teachings of righteousness; and especially we, the holy nation, must always be aware of this principle.

Even to say that Hashem is easy-going and liberal to transgressors is a grave misdeed, "for all His ways are justice." Indeed, Hashem is kindly to the penitent; but the unrepentant should know that there is no unearned forgiveness. If the retribution does not come in this life, it is certain to be done in the Afterlife.