In this week’s Torah portion, [verse 19] the chapter concludes that we need to listen to G-d and “ha’yashar b’aynay Hashem…” what is fair in the eyes of G-d we must do. Man is silly – we think we are smarter and more fair than G-d. How could the Torah have various punishments? Or other limited human thoughts. History and life events can show us again and again that only G-d is fair. What we think is “cruel” might be kinder than our kindness.
Let me give you one example based also on this week’s Parsha: the justice system. A person steals in Judaism when we had our own courts and ways of enforcing things, we took that guy who couldn’t keep his hands off of others possessions and we sell him into slavery, use the money of the sale to repay what the guy stole and the guy is a slave for six years. Sounds cruel, no?
However, the Torah teaches that the master who buys him has to teach the guy a trade and when the guy is set free, the master has to set him up in business. So you take a no-good bum who is stealing and make him live with a normal family and make him function and work and then turn him into a decent citizen.
Contrast that with our system – we take a guy who stole, put him in Rikers with murderers and rapists, hold him there for a few years, then let him go with a one-trip Metrocard and money for one day of food. Have you done good by that man? Most folks end up quite quickly back in jail. They haven’t been taught or given ways of living a normal life.
Any time we see G-d told us to do something, we know G-d is merciful and that He is more fair than our limited logic can ever make us.
No matter what philosophy or morality is au courant, no matter how many people say how outdated or barbaric is Torah and Halacha, know without a doubt time and life will prove time and time again that only G-d is all-merciful and all-just. You don’t have to make excuses for His laws.