Q&A: Wrong Place at the Wrong Time?

Q: There is a statement of the Sages in Gemara Chulin that nobody bangs his finger unless it was so decreed by Heaven. Yet, there is another concept of the Sages that if a decree, God forbid, was issued against a group, if someone happens to be present who was not deserving of the decree, he may be drawn along even though he wasn’t deserving. I am wondering how to understand this concept in light of major disasters. Is it possible that there could be people who don’t make it, who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time?

A: God’s Divine Providence is absolute over every person. However, there are different levels of this Divine Providence. The level of the person who bangs his finger is the revealed level of Divine Providence.  If a person does some soul-searching after this type of incident, he can relatively easily understand why it happened and rectify the situation. On the other hand, there is also concealed Divine Providence, which is the situation referred to by the sages in the case of the group. This is for the rectification of the souls of all those involved, although those involved may not understand why this happened to them.

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

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