Jun 10, 2010

“Do we dare?” A Reflection on ‘Likutei Ma’amarim’ of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin 1:1

"Do we dare?" A Reflection on 'Likutei Ma'amarim' of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin 1:1
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

There is a finite amount of evil in the world, and it is there to be vanquished, to be weakened, to be erased.  While evil cannot increase, it can spread, covering us all, permeating the soul of those who witnesses and endure its presence in the world.  The power of wrongness - scary, contagious, and real. 

And evil in our souls reaches beyond the physical world.  It enters our soul.  It devastates us, erases hope, weakens the spirit, and renders our powers dimmed, inert.  We become vulnerable to envisioning nothingness.  And, as divine conduits, that nothingness can travel through us to infect every dimension of God's universe.

It is possible to stare transfixed at clear pictures of slime and spreading shadow, a death scene in real time.  It is not logical to live, to hope, to choose life.  But it is also in our power to turn the tide back despite the insistent current of time.  We do not escape into an earlier, simpler, less-aware time.  That isn't in our power.  But it is in our power to see the moment we inhabit as one our children will look back to with yearning, with wonder.  Do we dare lose hope when that could easily become their inheritance?  Do we dare give up?  That is the choice before us.

Enough powerlessness!  Enough despair!  We've sat too long in the Vale of Tears!  Time will not wait for us to come to our senses and regain conviction.  We are not permitted to abstain from the work before us.  There is work to do, many needs to answer.  More and more and more and more.

And at the same time, there is no limit to the Divine Potentiality we together are.   We are conduits for God, distinct sacred actors in the unfolding drama of the universe.  How dare we allow our reasonable fear to keep us from redeeming the world with our power to unleash hope?!

A Prayer for Israel in Troubled Times: http://shefanetwork.org/prayerforisrael.pdf

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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Chag Sukkot Sameach, dear friends.