Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Better to have lived and lost, than to have ever lived at all?

Kohelet states, "the day of death is better than the day of birth." This has echos in the gemara(Eruvin 14b) where Hillel and Shamai debate whether it is better to be born, or to never have been born. They debate for a few years, and come to the agreement that it would have been better not to have been born. They then add, with the help of Rashi, that since one has been born, he should be careful with his deeds. From a Mitzva/avera point of view, I guess this makes sense, because the premise is that all of us are contaminated with averot(averas), Ain Tzadik asher ya'ase tov v'lo yechita. However, if you think about Creation(this coming Parasha) and how man(and woman) is the culmination of Creation, how is it theologically acceptable to state that it is better for this pinnacle of creation(man), not to have been born? doesn't this cast a giant shadow on the Divine Plan? The only reaonable sounding explaination I have found is the above mentioned strict accounting of good and bad deeds, contamination of the pure soul with worldy affairs type of answers. The floor is open. And on that note, Chag Sameach, Good Yontif, G'mar Chatimah Tovah to everyone.(btw, Sunday is the first day of the MoC biking post yontif diet.)

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