1. After this Iyov opened his mouth and cursed his day.
2. And Iyov spoke,and said,
3. Oh that the day had perished wherein I was born, and the night which said,there is a child man conceived.
4. Let that day be darkness; let not G-d inquire after it from above, nor let the light shine upon it.
5. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6. As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not rejoice among the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months.
7. Lo, let that night be solitary, let not joyful cry be heard in it.
8. Let them curse it who curse the day, who are ready to arouse livyatan.
9. Let the stars of its dusk be dark; let it look for light, but have none; and let it not see the eyelids of morn:
10. because it did not shut up the doors of my mother’s womb nor hide trouble from my eyes.
11. Why did I not die from the womb? Why did I not perish when I came out of the belly?
12. Why did the knees receive me? or why the breasts that I should suck?
After Iyov curses time and space and other elements of the environment that joined forces to create his tragic fate he turns to the people who are directly responsible for his creation, his parents. Iyov is struggling to come to terms with his bitter lot. He cannot accept personal responsibility because he is righteous in his own eyes. He cannot blame G-d because G-d is righteous. So he turns to the forces of creation, to those forces that are external to him but are nevertheless an integral part of his life. His parents symbolize the forces that are responsible for his creation and continue to force his existence. In them he finds the source for all of his pain and anguish. He condemns them and blames them for his pitiful situation.
This type of mind set is very familiar to anyone who has experience helping others with personal difficulties. Quite often we find that the problems are only ten percent due to external factors and ninety percent due to the mental attitude of the sufferer. It is highly unproductive to try and help these people by focusing on the ten percent of the external factors. The most essential task is to help the person face reality; that the source, and therefore the remedy, to his problems are within himself.
Text Copyright © 1996 Rabbi Y. Schwartz and Project Genesis, Inc.
The author is the Rosh Hayeshiva (Dean) of Orchos Chaim Yeshiva in Jerusalem.