by Akiva at Mystical Paths
On my post on safety in Israel versus the US (where Israel comes out ahead in 90% of the stat's, including average length of life), a commenter wrote...
Anonymous Commenter - In the world at large the cause of death by hasgacha protis is 100%. Death by other causes is 0.00%.
Emunah peshuta - simple faith is a wonderful thing. Knowing, with absolute certainly, that G-d runs the world and He is the only one to turn to, the only one upon whom to rely, is a great level.
Yet, we live in a world that appears to run through "natural" means, through the fixed pattern of the physical laws of the universe.
We can state with certainly that average life expectancy has grown tremendously in the last 300 years. Most people, on average, can expect to live into their 70's. Further, we can directly explain the natural means by which life expectancy can be shortened or lengthened. Namely: Prenatal health care, nutrition during early stages of life, vaccinations of certain (but not all) types of deadly or seriously debilitating childhood diseases (smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, etc), antibiotics, hypertension and cholesterol medication, capabilities of the local/national health care system.
Now, does this mean life expectancy is increasing because of man? Or, because the gates to wisdom are opened and knowledge comes to man per the Divine plan? Simple faith says "it's all from Hashem", and it is! But, this is not going to satisfy the more complex person. He'll say, if we have lots of traffic accidents should we all just daven, or should we examine the traffic pattern to see where to put a new light, or turn off, or overpass?
The answer is both. We should daven, and by doing so our actions to improve the situation should, G-d willing, be blessed with an opening of the gates of wisdom, or even the 'spontaneous' thinking of someone of a great way to 'make things better'. For the Hand of G-d is rarely seen directly in our times.
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BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא