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Shmuz #44

Bar Kamtza – Do You Really Have Free Will?

I accept that each person’s life span is set before he is born. I also accept that the question is visited on Rosh Hashanah when HASHEM decides who will live and who will die. All that is fine and well, until I pick up a gun and say to myself, “Can’t I decide to end that person’s life? Isn’t it obvious that whether he lives or dies is now in my hands?”

Using the Tisha B’Av Gemarah as a backdrop, we are brought into some of philosophy’s deepest questions, resolving the issue of how much of life is in HASHEM’s control and how much is in man’s.

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