Hand Over Justice to God
Yael Eckstein | July 4, 2023
Why, LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? — Psalm 10:1
This month, we will look at the theme of justice as one of the bedrock principles of our Judeo-Christian values. Enjoy!
In the spring of 2023, on April 7th, Lucy Dee (48) and her two daughters, Maia (20) and Rina (15), were gunned down by Palestinian terrorists on their way to a family vacation, leaving behind a devastated husband and father, Rabbi Leo Dee, and three surviving siblings. This horrific attack took place during the holiday of Passover, a time when the Jewish people celebrate their freedom. But on this day, there was only mourning and unanswered questions.
When tragedy strikes the innocent, we often wonder: Where was God? How could He let this happen? Even King David asked these difficult questions. Psalm 10 begins: “Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”
The psalm goes on to ask how God can allow evildoers to get away with their crimes. Where is the justice? More importantly, where is the judge?
Hand Over Justice to God
While the entire nation of Israel asked these questions during the days following the tragic shooting, it was only Rabbi Dee who seemed to have the answers. This man whose entire world had just been destroyed in an instant sprang into action. With passion in his voice and tears in his eyes, he eulogized his beautiful wife and daughters, spoke to the press, and began planning for how to commemorate his loved ones and the values for which they stood.
Mere days after the murderous attack, Rabbi Dee said “Jews simply believe in balancing love and justice. For our part, we have felt a warm hug of love from Jews in Israel and beyond and we are confident that justice will be done.”
Despite the unimaginable pain and the clear injustice, Rabbi Dee reminded us all that, no matter how things may seem, justice will ultimately prevail—even if we don’t understand how that will happen. In the meantime, we should focus on loving one another and bringing goodness into the world.
Psalm 10 transitions to a prayer asking God to exact justice: “call the evildoer to account for his wickedness” (v. 15). The psalm ends with David’s confidence that justice will triumph: “The LORD is King for ever and ever… defending the fatherless and the oppressed” (vv. 16, 18).
At a time when so much evil exists in the world, David’s questioning of God’s ways certainly resonates with us. However, we must also take to heart the rest of the psalm, as David prayerfully puts his faith in God’s justice.
Once we hand over justice to God, we can learn from Rabbi Dee and turn our attention to increasing love and light in the world.
In the face of evil, pray to God to exact the ultimate justice, while you focus on acts that can alleviate the suffering of others.