Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023

Moed Koton 18: The Cloaking of Providence

We live at a time when there is hester ponim. Hashem’s presence is not easily perceived. The Chofetz Chaim uses this concept to explain why we have so many amenities in our times: “Hashem saw that people were very weak spiritually due to the obscuring of Hashem’s presence and could not survive dealing with the hardships of living without conveniences to make life easier. He afforded access to electricity and all of the appliances that use it, and subsequent generations find such things essential to their survival.”

We sometimes find Talmudic statements that are difficult to understand today. On this daf, for example, we find that if a pregnant woman walks on cut fingernails, she will miscarry. When someone asked the Chazon Ish about whether this principle is still in effect, he replied, “In our generation, with such great hester ponim, I would not be surprised if a woman who is expecting treads on fingernails and nothing happens at all” (Meir Einei Yisroel; Ma’aseh Ish).

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