(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 23:56:09 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Violence in the Torah?

QUESTION: I responded to a recent question "How can God be so cruel" by
answering that eg Pharoh would kill Jewish
babies to bathe in their blood---therefore G-d was not cruel in punishing
him the way he did. As a follow up question we discuss Gods major destruction
of cities in Genesis.

My answer stands. Consider Sedom and Gmarrah which G-d destroyed by pouring
fire and brimstone on the whole city. This was justified because of the
cruelty of the whole city. Indeed the Bible explicitly states:
- -There were not even 10 righteous people in the 5 cities (Gen 18:32)
- -The city would routinely homosexually assault visitors (Gen 19:4-5)
male-female relationship (Gen 19:8-9).

The Talmud amplifies on their wickedness. A young 5 year old girl once gave
some bread to a beggar passing through the city. The city was so outraged
that it tortured her to death by tieing her up covering her with honey and
letting bees sting her to death.

So yes..G-d is just, His Mercy is infinite and to paraphrase the Ralbag
G-d's cruelty to the wicked is mercy to the righteous who survive.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; RHendel@Towson.Edu
Moderator Rashi is Simple