I would not want to be G-d right now. And I do not say that flippantly or facetiously. How strange and sad and awkward it must be to see what we are doing to ourselves, to be watching what mankind, what humans are doing. How we are fighting and bickering over wearing masks, when it is clearly the right thing to do and something most experts say can protect us. We are literally politicizing the wearing of masks in the midst of a pandemic. How crazy are we?This pandemic, this worldwide health crisis is something that should be driving us together, making us work side-by-side for the common good, and yet it is causing great divide and breaking us apart. The health crisis is real. The economic crisis is real. Needing a solution that involves ALL OF US is real, too. It is literally life and death.
And yet, we are divided now more than ever. Race relationships have deteriorated. People are taking to the streets to protest the ways they have been treated for years. The anger is justified, and yet anger cannot and must not lead to hate, to blame, to finding a scapegoat instead of the truth. Blame those who have committed the crimes, done the wrong thing… yes, of course. But do not allow the anger to find its way into anti-Semitism, to have yet another excuse to hate Jews.
Anti-Semitism is irrational because it mutates, it changes to suit the hater. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks writes about this brilliantly. How can we be hated for being capitalists AND communists? Weak AND strong? The chosen people AND the worst human rights violator? Hating Jews is too easy, and sadly, something that is finding a home across the political and racial spectrum. Hate is hate is hate. We must see this and we must ALL stand up to it and fight against it. Man must do this. Humans must do this. We ALL must do this. I am overwhelmed by the news… to the point where I actually need to stop watching it. There is a desperate balance between wanting to be informed and allowing myself to be overcome by the grief and the sadness. Balance is key and I am not yet there.
I do not stop asking why. I need to know. And I have a really hard time letting that go. I have faith in Hashem. I have trust in Hashem. But this is all too much, and all at once. It is daunting and overwhelming, and almost impossible to catch my breath.
Corona, police killings, lynchings, horrible blue and red divide, horrible behavior that is ignored or justified. Severe economic destruction, confusion, uncertainty… and on a personal level: fear of finances, career, health issues, a sick dog, and just the other day, another fire way too close to the house. When will it stop???
So I am one of those people who will literally look up to the heavens and plead with Hashem to ask why this is happening, why all of this is going on. It was a brutal and painful and literal cry. And no, I was not answered… well… maybe I was.In our weekly Tanya class, Rabbi Avi Rabin said something so eloquent and logical. It’s something we all know, but it must be something we stop on, and really ponder and understand. What we are witnessing is not caused by G-d, but by man. Yes, G-d controls the world, and we must know this, must fully believe this, for this is what gives us trust in G-d. And this also means that we need to accept that G-d has a plan that we cannot possibly know about or understand. Hard to reconcile at times, but we must.
So G-d is in control, but man is given Free Will. It is perhaps our greatest gift, and our biggest detriment, our biggest curse. Look at what we are doing to ourselves and the planet right now. There are consequences, severe consequences for our actions. And while G-d could step in at any moment, He wants us to come together and solve this together, on our own… at least for now. How hard must it be for Hashem to see all of this going on???
G-d is not mentioned in the Book Of Esther, and yet there He was, orchestrating and guiding… and yet letting human beings take control and exercise their free will. The Jewish people were saved. But what of the story of Noah? G-d was so displeased He destroyed the world as we know it. Is that where we are now or is that where we are moving towards??? How many chances do we get, to get it right, to fix things on our own? Isn’t now bad enough? Don’t we need some real help?
We were all put on this earth, this planet and into this world for a reason. We all have a purpose. We are all here to connect to kindness, to goodness, to doing the right thing, and to connect to G-d. So G-d wants us to find our own way through, and yet right now this seems utterly impossible. We are so stuck in bitter divisiveness. We are so entrenched in our own ideas that we have only highly emotional responses to almost everything, and this especially comes out when one simply expresses an opinion.
What happened to civilized discourse and dialogue? There is no opening for communication, no opening for compromise, no opening for objective truth any more. And yet, this is all due to man. Everything that is happening for the most part are self-inflicted wounds, things we have done to ourselves. We are sabotaging our planet, we are destroying ourselves and life as we know it, quite literally. We are doing this to ourselves and so we must come together and fix this ourselves. We need to use free will to connect to G-d, for if we do, we will be able to connect to other human beings. The reason is simple, because we will be focused on the right things. We will be focused on the Torah and learning, on doing mitzvahs and treating others and ourselves well. We will be focused on charity, Tzedakah and giving back. We will be focused on Teshuvah, returning to ourselves and the simple and most important things in life. If we connect to G-d we will be connected to our fellow human beings and want to work together to fix these horrific problems.
So many of our problems have been caused by man. We are witnessing that first hand right now… So it is now time for us to be by G-d… and in doing so, the problems can be solved by man.