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Where used to be God on Oct. 7?

Top Stories Tamfitronics

(RNS) — He stopped me within the aisle at Total Foods.

“Rabbi, it’s excellent to appear for you, and I’m hoping that you just have got been playing your retirement. (Retirement? Extra fancy semi-semi-retirement.) But I’m hoping that you just’re no longer so retired that you just cannot acknowledge a requirement of for me.”

“Scramble for it,” I replied. (Because of the, if I in actuality have learned the rest, it’s that rabbis by no capability retire from answering questions. Or shouldn’t.)

“How can I mediate in God after what occurred on Oct. 7?”

In a saying.

Because of the I knew that this would rob a while — and other folks within the granola portion were already attempting to steer their browsing carts round us.

Because of the there is no steering any psychological or theological browsing carts round this demand of.

Top Stories Tamfitronics Rabbi Yitz Greenberg. (Courtesy photograph)

Rabbi Yitz Greenberg. (Courtesy photograph)

That’s why we at Wisdom With out Walls: an on-line salon for Jewish tipsproudly invited Rabbi Yitz Greenbergarguably essentially the most important contemporary Orthodox thinker on the earth this day, to half a conversation with our other folks. Extra than 60 other folks showed up, merely about — on a Sunday afternoon.

Because of the, fancy my interlocutor in Total Foods, they’re struggling with this demand of along with.

It would no longer matter that it’s an worn demand of; for up to the moment Jews, ever for the reason that Holocaust.

It is an evergreen demand of, and human nature being what it’s, it received’t ever disappear.

First, about Rabbi Yitz Greenberg.

For the past 50 years, Greenberg has been an important segment of my lifestyles, and surely one of the other folks who has formed each my rabbinate and my Jewish worldview. He has been a maverick; an institution builder; any individual who has pushed the boundaries of Orthodoxy in a capability that used to be absolutely fundamental; a spectacular husband to Blu Greenbergwho used to be the first to factor in what an Orthodox feminism can also stare fancy; a father, grandfather, enormous-grandfather, whose loved ones even now defend the teach of Israel.

This past summer season, he graciously invited me to his dwelling in Jerusalem. We spent a day collectively talking from our hearts, discovering out, struggling. When it used to be over, I used to be shaking and in tears.

His books have influenced me, and quite a complete lot of others. His book on the Jewish holidays, “The Jewish Map: Living the Holidays,” isn’t very any longer perfect the single perfect one-volume introduction to the Jewish vacation cycle, it’s also surely one of the correct introductions to unusual Judaism. It is my No. 1 most commended book for folks who’ve to learn more about Judaism.

Right here’s what he taught us several Sundays within the past.

Once upon a time, in biblical instances, we anticipated that God would establish us. That used to be the age of miracles, of the divine presence bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and parting the sea, and being invoked to fight in opposition to our enemies.

But that’s no longer the vogue Jewish history, and human history, has unfolded. Over time, the appealing presence of God has receded. The age of miracles has ended.

God recedes, so that you just may maybe maybe teach human beings correct into a greater sense of duty. Human beings are fully free.

God is peaceful divulge, within the in discovering of Shechinah, the female presence of God who wanders with us, and suffers with us. Shechinah is the restrained mom, hidden but sarcastically nearer. She is in every single build. For Jews, she is most modern in our properties, and there, most modern in our kitchens!

Rav Yitz taught: By pronouncing blessings and preparing a kosher meal, it’s as if you are bringing sacrifices to God — no longer within the used Temple in Jerusalem, long since destroyed — but on your have home. Making esteem is a job of bringing the Shechinah into the bed room (or, wherever … )

You mediate that God goes to replicate the “Ten Commandments” model of the scene on Mount Sinai? Not taking place. Those days are over.

As a replace: Ship Shechinah into presence by the utilization of your minds and discovering out the inherited traditions.

It is miles the human duty — truly, the cardinal Jewish duty — to teach the arena correct into a greater teach of being.

That is what we indicate after we talk of tikkun olam, repairing the arena — making the arena more hospitable to the divine presence, thru the ongoing job of sustaining, reaffirming and strengthening the divine name to hallow lifestyles in its every in discovering.

After the Holocaust, Jews can also have walked a ways from God. Many did. They’ll also have merely affirmed secularism or embraced nihilism. All over again, many did.

The Jews can also have walked a ways from God, but we were so considerable in esteem with the concept that of the redemption of the arena that we refused to let God shuffle.

So, where used to be God on Oct. 7?

God used to be with the Jews, as God is with all suffering peoples. God used to be also massacred, abused, burnt alive and tortured. God is with the vulnerable, which entails the vulnerable Palestinians.

Getting inspire to my excellent friend at Total Foods: Right here’s what I desired to reveal to him.

It is no longer my faith in God that suffered on Oct. 7.

It is my faith in humanity, in nations, in leaders, in excessive custom, within the universities, in politics. Those minifaiths were shattered.

God, nevertheless, has emerged intact.

As Shechinah.

What does it indicate to make a truly perfect world, to have interplay in tikkun olam?

It is no longer to commence with the total world. It capability to commence little — with tikkun atzmi, with repairing oneself; to prolong into our households, our communities, our have other folks (tikkun ha’am) — and within the rupture, then, to the total world. That’s why God selected Abraham — to make a mensch, and then a other folks, with a selected covenant tied to a selected land — all of which may maybe also change into a blueprint for humanity.

One closing thing.

Let me shuffle inspire to that segment where I suggested you the age of Rav Yitz.

He is 91 years worn.

There has been so considerable within the press, and in our national political conversations, about the vagaries of advancing age.

Ignore it.

Within the words of surely one of my diversified rabbis, Bob Dylan, intellectually and spiritually, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg is “with out a end in sight younger.”


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