If one looks at the news these days it is enough to make one simply crazy. It appears as if the world has been forsaken, GD forbid, and is falling off its axis. Let’s take a look.
The Middle East in flames, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen to name a few. Liberation movements are being born with GD knows who is going to replace them. American is involved it yet another war that has no clear exit in Libya. The Palestinians are threatening to declare self-statehood and that is sure to cause more strife and bloodshed in the Holy Land. Syria is killing its citizens for uprising, and its killing its soldiers that refuse to kill its citizens. Japan was hit with a devastating earthquake that killed tens of thousands and still many cities are completely wiped out and the dead are no were near all accounted for. All these combined create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty as to how and GD forbid when this will reach our shores.
That is internationally. Speaking of our shores, Oil is at an all time high, I just got my bill for the end of the season (and it was over $900 more than my monthly payment plan, that was not cheap in the first place) ouch!. Twisters have flattened complete towns and communities here in the south and hundreds are dead!
What is one to make of all this madness and how is one to find comfort and cope? It is frightening and depressing all at once. Not to mention that is certainly makes on question if “there is a Master (GD) to this house (earth).”
Many choose, for specifically this purpose to lose faith and throw their eggs in the agnostic or atheist basket saying, either, if this can happen there is no GD or if this could happen by GD, I don’t want to believe in Him.
I choose another approach. Specifically because all this is happening I believe even more that GD is in charge and that somehow there is a silver lining and good within this all.
Both from a logical perspective and a spiritual one:
Logical: I’d rather believe that there is a master keeping an eye on things and I simply don’t understand them, then ascribe all this chaos to fate and chance or simply a weather pattern or global warming. I’d far prefer to think there is someone at the controls and I just don’t understand what is going on. An example: you are on an airplane and it is bumping up and own, and veering in all different directions. What would you rather think. My goodness, what is going on out there, I hope the pilot can get things under control. OR, would you rather think goodness, there must not be anyone at the controls.
Spiritual: From the spiritual perspective, the chaos in world events are certainly frightening, but they don’t mean that we throw the creator out because we don’t like, know, understand or accept what He is doing. That is inherently the definition of faith, accepting something that is above our ability to understand. And quite the contrary, because I know that He, Gd is in charge that actually provides a fair measure of comfort.
I often convey this via an analogy.
A crying child comes in with a bloodied and scraped knee. You take a tissue, wipe it up, wipe their tears, give them a kiss and tell them “it’s going to be ok.” Suddenly, they stop crying and bound on out as if nothing had happened.
What changed? The bleeding is still going, albeit under a bandage, the scrape still hurts and yet instead of tears there are smiles?
Answer: They know that you are “on top of it.” When the child saw the blood and the scrapes their small mind and world view began to crash since they could not comprehend all the chaos and madness happening on their knee. Once they found out from you, the parent that no, the world is not coming to an end, and that everything is going to be OK, they shifted the worry from themselves to you, and since you weren’t worried everyone walked away secure and happy.
Similarly when we are faced with the craziness of our world, if we look at it from a very superficial perspective it does appear that the world is coming apart at the seams. However, when we have the humility and the faith to realize that this too is from above, and that GD is “on top of it,” then we, like the child, can be at ease and shift the burden of worry onto GD and go back to our business of living life and make the world a better place.
This doesn’t address the why. We will save that for another blog.
Rabbi Nechemia Schusterman