web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Torah »

Divine Intervention Motivates Religious Inspiration; After Three Days How Much Remains?

YU-011014

Wars, causing death and destruction, are an ugly manifestation of human power. Yet for the Jews to function in this world they had to be prepared to fight against the evil in it, including through actual combat, even if a risk existed that they would overestimate the role of military might – a risk which the Torah points out.

What is being asked of us is demanding and complex. We must be consistently committed, though moments of clear Divine intervention are rare. Moments of inspiration have to be channeled into patterns of religious behavior. Being part of this world means we have to decide when to fight wars and when to make peace. After the era of prophets passed we have faith in Divine Providence but cannot be perfectly sure of how to interpret events. No longer slaves, the Jewish people face the burden and challenges of life in this world coupled with the opportunity to transform through the commandments given to us by Hashem.

About the Author: Rabbi Yosef Blau is mashgiach ruchani at Yeshiva University and an advocate for survivors of abuse.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Divine Intervention Motivates Religious Inspiration; After Three Days How Much Remains?”

  1. The idea that the divine punishes people or allows terrible things to befall them because they don't observe commandments seems to me so out of touch with the reality of everyday life. Down through history, the Jewish people have been some of the most committed to their faith of any peoples, which is why they have kept an identity. Yet they have suffered terribly. I mean, can any of us really believe that the pogroms of the past, or the horror of the Holocaust, were because of a lack of Jewish commitment? If so, what a cruel monster people worship. And then I think of all the non-observant Jews who live in peace and prosperity in safer parts of the world such as much of America. Are they merely waiting for the other shoe to drop? Or is there in fact no shoe, because the divine doesn't drop shoes? I prefer the view of the divine in Life of Pi, whereby everything in the world–the whole of nature–is all part of the divine. There is no punishment, no inflicting of horror. Humans do these things, not the divine. In which case being observant or not becomes a matter of choice and enjoyment of tradition and the connection it fosters, not a means of avoiding "getting it in the neck." Surely Judaism is able to rise above the punitive ideas of the divine held by the likes of the deceased Falwell or still living Pat Robertson, who blamed 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina (which I went through) on divine punishment–somehow ignoring the fact that, if the divine did it, it missed that cesspool of wickedness known as Bourbon Street and instead clobbered churches and temples! A bad shot? No, a bad idea.

  2. Well said. It's sad that as bad things happen to people, you have these false teachers going around telling others that it was because of sin in their lives. It's bad enough to pretend to be G-d or to be arrogant enough to think you know His will, but to pile it on when people are already devastated is just being a jerk. Guys like Falwell, Robertson, and Fred Phelps are just as bad as false prophets if not worse. And it's refreshing to see men like the Rabbi Blau who, despite tons of education, still have the humility to say that they don't know everything and the decency to just say "sometimes bad stuff happens to good people" without sticking it to anybody.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US Marines walk a city street in Fallujah, heavily damaged by the fighting. (2004)
Netanyahu Says Making Gaza ‘Israel’s Fallujah’ Was Too High a Price
Latest Judaism Stories
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

More Articles from Rabbi Yosef Blau
YU-011014

For change to become permanent it has to become internalized through new behaviors. Mitzvot have to be observed regularly.

Blau-060713

The welfare of the child requires that every allegation be investigated.

With the release of the Winograd Commission report, the question whether Prime Minister Olmert will resign has dominated Israeli news. A large rally of his opponents took place in Tel Aviv demanding that he accept the report’s critique of his conduct of last summer’s Lebanon war and step down. Some ideological leaders from both the Left and the Right did not participate in the demonstration – the rightists arguing that the organizers of the rally were not against Olmert’s ideology, the leftists fearing his successor would not share theirs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/torah/divine-intervention-motivates-religious-inspiration-after-three-days-how-much-remains/2014/01/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: