Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy (4 January 2018, 17 Tevet, 5778)
How does Judaism explain the existence of suffering?
We have the Biblical Book of Job. This work deals with suffering. It consists largely of a series of discussions on the subject. The end conclusion seems to be that the ultimate reason cannot be made known to us. God does what HE wants and we can only accept that HE has HIS reasons. Nevertheless, there is an intermediate range of possibilities that both Job and his companions converse upon. The relevant literature also deals with the case of Job and with other explanations. Here are some answers in a nutshell gathered from all over: At the basic level someone who is good has good done to him and vice-versa. When suffering comes one should examine his actions. The fault may lie in something or other whose seriousness he did not pay sufficient attention to. Or it may be something his forefathers or children did and for whom he would be prepared to take responsibility. For they who believe in Reincarnation it may be something that was done in a previous existence. One is judged according to how one would agree to be judged if all the options were known to one. That is the bottom line. We may never really know BUT we should still seek to understand as well as we can. Everything has a reason. Even small things have a cause and a reward and punishment effect. May this subject be a theoretical one and not something we ever have to deal with.