Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two Sides of a Coin

(Hat tip: Shoshana) This post by Gila is profound, excellent, and extremely thought-provoking. Excerpts:
Life is not fair but we desperately wish to think it is. We are not all equally blessed…but who on Earth can comfortably stomach the concept that he has been shortchanged by G-d? This is why we spend so much time justifying reality. That is why we put forth so much effort inventing and then trotting out our "this is really a good thing, this is for the best" mantras. I am no different from anyone else. In respect to the bombing, if not in respect to various other aspects of my life, I have my own collection of mantras. I was blessed. What happened to me was for the best. I am a better person for what happened. If G-d were to come to me today with an offer to repeat this period of my life, but without the bombing, I would turn Him down. Usually, these mantras satisfy my craving for blessings. Nonetheless, every so often, I find myself questioning the fairness of it all. ...

I was discussing with a friend the health of a third woman we are both friends with. This woman underwent difficult fertility treatments in order to have her first child. In the course of checkups to prepare for a new round of IVF, it was discovered that she had cancer. She spent the next year in treatments; as of that time she had been given a clean bill of health though it was not clear if she would be able to bear any more children. My friend's take on all this was similar, though not identical, to that of Michael's friends: if it were not for the fact that our friend had fertility problems, and that doctors insist on such a careful check before starting fertility treatment, the cancer never would have been caught so early and her cure would not have been nearly as assured. Ergo, our friend was lucky. I took the part of Michael. I found this type of logic ridiculous. Our friend had to suffer through fertility problems and cancer. She should not have had to go through either, much less both, and certainly not both by the age of 30. How can you possibly define this as luck? This should not be.
On a separate note, R' Horowitz's son is engaged - mazel tov!