Posted Friday, January 6, 2012, 2:28 PM
The new weekly message from Rabbi Nachman Kahana makes observations about, among other things, why, “in this finite world,” there is a “need for evil and even anti-Godly ideas and acts.”
Rabbi Kahana is the spiritual leader of the Chazon Yechezkel synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old City. He has lived in Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel) for decades, although he did grow up in Brooklyn. While he is focused primarily on Jews who have made the choice to live in and build up Eretz Yisrael, he does have a considerable (if less personally committed) following among American supporters of a strong, safe Israel.
Regarding the need for evil and for anti-Godly ideas and acts, Rabbi Kahana writes:
… I, like King David ask Hashem [term many Jews use to describe God]: Why do You permit people like this to exist and disparage your holy name and Torah?
The answer is that, just like insanity and other very negative situations play a necessary role in the world, these people fulfill an important role in our lives, as follows:
1- Their conduct relegates to the back-burners the usual issues of the day, such as the economy and defense, and brings to the national discussion table the issue of what the Torah really says.
People who would normally divert their concentration when a rabbi is interviewed by the media, are paying close attention to the rabbis who condemned these emissaries of hate and explain what the Torah requires of us.
A circus clown dons the face of a crying man as he makes the audience laugh. So too, the embarrassing and sad conduct of these people has opened public debate as to what normative Torah Judaism demands from a member of God’s chosen nation.
2- During our 2000 years of galut (exile), the ritualistic, metaphysical practices of the Torah overshadowed our identification as a nation with a homeland, a capital city, a language and all the other marks of a distinct nation. In the last century, Zionism, and in particular religious Zionism, aroused our collective memory from where we came and to where we must return.
Rabbi Kahana’s weekly message also discusses, among other things, recent (well-publicized) poor behavior by ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem, as well as the messages Jacob offered his 12 grandsons from his deathbed.
Rabbi Kahana’s full weekly message is available online via this link.
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