I'll Cry InsteadBy Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
To recap: Job blamed his troubles on “being born under an unlucky star,” which may not attribute malice to G-d, but does blame Him for instituting an unfair system. Elifaz disagreed with Job’s premise, saying that we bring about our own fates through our actions, the difference lying in how we react when trouble strikes. The righteous and wise accept G-d’s rebuke and use it to improve, while the wicked and foolish become angry and bitter, which drives them to destruction. Now, Job replies to the words of Elifaz.
“You want angry?” Job says, “I’ll show you angry. I’m so upset, I can hardly think straight. I’ll agree with you on one point, though: all my afflictions DO come from G-d! I’ve got every reason to complain and you don’t know what you’re talking about. Right now, things I used to throw away because they were too disgusting to use have become my clothes and my food. You know what I’d really like? If G-d would just finish me off already. I know I haven’t done anything to deserve this punishment.”
“You think I’m strong enough to endure all this suffering? Why should I even want to? You think I’m made of stone? And you guys are no help. I don’t find your words supportive at all. In fact, I feel betrayed. You know I’m right, you’re just siding with G-d out of fear. I didn’t ask you to ransom me out or to come save me, so why do you have to sell me out like that?”
“I know I haven’t done anything wrong,” Job says, “so feel free to prove me wrong – if you do, I’ll shut up. If you were right, I’d admit it, but you’ve proved nothing. You’re full of hot air and you kick me when I’m down. Listen to what I have to say and you’ll see that I’m right. You know me a long time and you’ve never heard me lie or even say something if I don’t know what I’m talking about.”