Suffering & Evil in Judaism


The Book of Eicha: Faith in a Whirlwind

At the core of Lamentations is an expression of faith in the human capacity to survive in a broken world.


The Book of Job and the Paradox of Suffering

No biblical book takes up theodicy's challenge with greater power than the moving and enigmatic story of Job.

Beliefs & Practices

Do Jews Believe in Satan?

In Jewish texts, the devil is sometimes an adversary and sometimes an embodiment of evil.

Suffering & Evil 101

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Suffering & Evil Quiz

Why do bad things happen to good people?

The Book of Job: A Whirlwind of Confusion

An ambiguous divine speech is the subject of great scholarly debate.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Suffering is meaningless unless you decide otherwise.

Wisdom For Unwelcome Experiences

The founder of Hasidism, the Baal Shem Tov, offered a three-pronged approach to dealing with difficulty.

Mystical Explanations for the Existence of Evil

According to the kabbalists, evil is a bi-product of the relationship between humans and the sefirot, God's manifested attributes.

Biblical and Rabbinic Responses to Suffering

Early Jewish writers were more concerned with the randomness of suffering than with its actual existence.

The Holocaust: Responding to Modern Suffering

The events of the Holocaust put the problem of suffering at the fore of Jewish theological discourse.

Assisting the Perpetrator of an Evil Deed

One violation of the biblical injunction not to "place a stumbling block in the path of the blind" is aiding and abetting an illegal or unethical transaction.

Jewish Answers to Suffering and Evil

If the Torah guarantees rewards to the righteous, why do some righteous people suffer?

Suffering and Evil: Jewish Solutions

If Jews have a special relationship with God, then why is there so much suffering?

Medieval Philosopher Saadiah on Evil: Suffering is Good For You

If suffering is beneficial, then the existence of evil is not a problem.