Of all the inventions of man's imagination, none transcends his primal belief in the existence of invisible forces which shape a person's destiny, often in ways that make a mockery of his own efforts to do so. And of all these arcane powers, none is more enigmatic than the Divine Providence which underlies the belief in ethical monotheism. Just why does God allow bad things to happen to good or innocent people? The traditional Jewish context for such investigations was biblical exegesis, in particular the interpretation and elucidation of the Book of Job. Over twenty medieval Hebrew commentaries on the Book of Job have survived to the present day and it is the ideas concerning Providence expressed in these works that form the central core of this study. The final chapter brings the issue closer to our own times through discussion of the Scientific Revolution and the search for God's Mind -- moving away from the sphere of theological speculation to that of mathematical physics.
Jeremy I Pfeffer teaches physics at the Rehovot campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A graduate of Imperial College in London and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he has taught science in high schools in England and Israel., and has written and published textbooks on Modern Physics in both English and Hebrew. The present book is the result of a private study that has stretched intermittently over the last twenty five years.
The Origins of the Book of Job; The Personalities in the Book of Job; The Workings of Providence; Mediaeval Commentaries on the Book of Job; R. Simeon ben Zemah Duran's Commentary on the Book of Job.