Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Tish'a B'Av Fallacy

I hear a story once. A town was in danger of being flooded. Everyone was ordered to evacuate. But one person wouldn't leave. First, a police car came by to implore the man to leave. He wouldn't, saying God would save him. The flooding started, and a rescue boat came along, imploring him to jump in. He wouldn't, insisting again God would save him. The waters rose, and the man was forced unto the roof of his house. A helicopter came to save him, but the man wouldn't get on, insisting yet again that God would save him! Finally, the waters rose above the man's head and he drowned. When he reached the Heaven, the angels brought him before God for his final judgement. The man complained to God, "I had such faith in You that You would save me, but you didn't and I died!" And God said, "But I sent the car, the boat, and the helicopter to you to save you! Why did you refuse to get on?" "I was waiting for a true miracle!" the man replied. "And what did you think the car, the boat, and the helicopter WERE?!" retorted the Lord. I guess the guy was looking for angels on a cloud or something. It's kind of like those nutty sects that don't believe in medical care because if God wills it, the person will simply get better. Never mind that, since God willed medicine, OBVIOUSLY God wills a person to get better...

Same thing with Tish'a B'Av. As I mentioned earlier during the Three Weeks, I think they all got it wrong. I think the Ba'alei Ha'Kinos got it wrong by focusing on "OY! MEH HAYA LANU!!" - "Woe is us! Look what has befallen us!!" Instead, they should have focused on what can be done.

But the "Three Oaths," about which I've written several times (and you can link to my posts about those through the link above), have constrained everyone, especially those of the Chareidi world. Everyone's waiting for a miracle. They're all waiting for Moshiach to arrive on a cloud and lead us all to the promised land on the wings of eagles.

I'm sorry, but it's just NOT going to happen that way. The miracle has been happening for about three hundred years, beginning with the emancipation of the Jews in Europe during the 18th century. It began with the secular Zionist movement that asked the rabbanim of the time to join them for a mass migration to the Holy Land. Those Rabbanim said no, and chief among them was Rav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch. He was worried about appearances, instead of realizing he could infuse some Torah into the-then completely secular Zionist movement. The Rabbanim, knowing there was something bad for the Jews waiting to happen just over the horizon, told the Jews to stay put instead of getting out. We all know how that ended: with the nearly complete destruction of European Jewry. It continued after the Holocaust with the creation of the state of Israel.

God has been trying to ease the world into a time of Moshiach and Geula for quite a while, now. But instead of embracing the car, the boat, and the helicopter, Orthodox Jewry just keeps crying, "OY! MEH HAYA LANU!!" instead of actually realizing we DON'T NEED TO DO THIS ANYMORE!!!

The Jews keep crying, "OY!! MEH HAYA LANU!!!" and God keeps sending more and more rescues, only to be rejected by so many "gedolim." It's ridiculous! Stop crying "OY!! MEH HAYA LANU!!" and start realizing it's NO LONGER NECESSARY!! Instead of worrying about the so-called "constraints" of the so-call "three oaths," which have become null and void centuries ago, and start realizing those constraints are no longer (if they were EVER) there! This mentality of "we deserve to be in golus forever" is insane, self-destructive, and just plain stupid.

And I think, with this mentality, we lose the entire lesson of Tish'a B'Av. Stop crying about the golus and start actually realizing Hashem is BRINGING forth a geula. instead of rejecting the miracles God has sent because they want something far more spectacular, start accepting what God offers. It's NOT going to be blatant. But I think it IS pretty obvious.

And it's just another reason I think the so-called "three oaths" are just wrong and completely off-base. All it HAS been for the last fifteen hundred years is an excuse to keep things in the status quo or golus and misery, because that's what Jews seem to love, golus and misery.

Is this a "slippery slope" I'm on? I don't think so. I think the "slippery slope" is on the other side, the one that keeps everyone under the thumb of the rabbis, the one that keeps everyone in fear of changing anything. THAT is a slippery slope...

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