Sunday, November 30, 2008

I continue to be amazed!

LATER: Chabad continues to inspire me. More, "What can I do?" They let people who are really worked up pledge mitzahs. Isn't that great? The emphasis isn't on money because not everyone can contribute and prayers are vital. Doing mitzvahs in the memory of the deceased rabbi and his wife are a huge honor and I will bet that his is making their parents smile through their tears as people promise to put up mezuzah, read a portion of the Torah, one guy promised to open his hart while reading the Torah because it's gotten habitual for him, they are lighting Shabbat candles, etc. Check it out!

In an article, someone asked why the rabbi and his wife were not protected and didn't want to hear the crap about the Holocaust, why in this day and age, didn't G-d protect the rabbi and his wife? I will quote them here:

When Chabad was an underground movement in Communist Russia, activists were being sent to Siberia every second day. Many were tortured in interrogation and left to rot in their prison cells. The same question could have been asked then. The answer would have been the same: Send another rabbi to replace him.


The main thing now is not to ask those questions. The main thing now is to help one another to be strong and rebuild. The orphan needs your help. The Jewish community of Mumbai needs your help. That's where the money we collect will be going. Direct your outrage in a positive path.

This is, "pick up and keep going." Don't slow down,there is work to do.

There is another article about prayers. After the attacks there was concern at CNN about the rabbi and his wife and people were praying and someone wrote in and asked where the prayers went.

This is part of that response: As for us, down here in this mundane world, we are not mean to understand. Understanding brings complacency. We are meant to be outraged that such evil exists in our world. We are meant to fight back and destroy it. Not to leave that up to G‑d and His wisdom--but to do all we can that the world should be filled with such light that such a thing could never happen again.

I see the whole attack as a tragedy and cannot take my eyes off the fact that some survived-- including their baby son, who shares a birthday with Mudd. What gets to me is the responses have answered a lot of my own questions. I miscarried and a (Jewish) doctor who I still think of was very empathetic told me something to the effect of, "You are supposed to be mad! G-d set it up that way, you are a mother and you want to take care of your children, born and not yet born. . ." then he explained to me how amazing it was that so often I was having perfect babies because of all that can go wrong, and he directed my passionate sadness to being more impressed that I kept making healthy babies and that I had to be careful to not get so depressed that I quit taking care of myself and my kids. He had a way of keeping my eyes up and seeing great things. Chabbad does that, too.

I love how they say that we are meant to be outraged, that understanding breeds complacency, that we need to do all we can to stop and not let this happen again. This is resolve and perseverance. You understand why as a people the Jews survived pogroms and all the things governments tried to do over the centuries that wiped out other groups. Doing a prison ministry, I have to admit that this is one of the greatest inspirations that I had when talking about keeping up with what we were teaching, "You have a right to practice your faith and it is protected." I shared with them about early Jewish movements and told them to be like the rabbis, but as Christians.

Christians ask the same questions about God not answering prayers or not seeming to protect His people. We don't see the whole plan. I've had priests get furious with me, "How dare you question God! You can't get mad at Him!" I can't find it, but one of their articles says that you can be mad at Ha Shem, "He's big enough to handle it." (I told one of the ladies that and she laughed.)

1 comment:

Steve said...

"I love how they say that we are meant to be outraged, that understanding breeds complacency,"

It depends on whether you take this in a religious context or biologically.

Theologically "Meant to be" I assume means, by God. The understanding would be what? Some version of "It's God's plan, you can't understand." or "It's evil"? I don't know.

But biologically you could say outrage is an instinctual reaction that pours adrenaline into you so you can fight back or run like hell. In that sense, outrage, at least in the world when such instincts meant survival, help people survive. But outrage in today's society. where everyone has a gun or other lethal weapons like cars, often has terrible consequences.

Understanding, for me, is not a short term response. But if you understand why something has happened, you have a chance of changing the situation so that it can't happen again.

I read that original quote as "it's better to do something than nothing, even if that something has no effect, or even makes things worse." (Westerners don't do 'nothing" well. We can't wait. We have to act.) "Don't talk to me about understanding - I know these guys are evil - I just want to take revenge, now."

That makes life simple, and leads to the kind of horrific cycle of killings that is going on in the Middle East, particularly between the Israelis and Palestinians.

This is not to say that action shouldn't be taken. But you need to understand against whom to act and how to do it effectively. Otherwise you just kill some 'representative' Pakistanis so you feel you've got your revenge.

And why is it that with a small percentage of the deaths being American, that is what our press focuses on? There were far more Indians killed, but Indian lives don't matter to us.