I sat at a meeting today where the lecturer was talking about all kinds of government statistics, and programs for greater diversity, etc, etc, etc, blah blah blah … He talked and talked until everyone at the meeting was finding it impossible to keep their eyes open.
This was no ordinary meeting; it was a special conference set up by the Police Department to discuss community relations. Around the table sat leaders from various communities, plus high ranking police from all sections of the country. As the speaker droned on, I began to wonder, (anything to stop falling asleep), what is this guy really talking about? He was trying to explain why there were so many problems facing the police today in this multi-cultural society. He gave numbers, rates of pay, access to education, all kinds of facts and figures yet he never touched on the one salient point. People are unhappy because we have stolen from them their realization that they are created in G-d’s Image. That they are important and have a spirituality that no money, nor lack of a fast car, can deprive them of.
The truth is, the world today has become a secular one, where things are seen in terms of statistics and studies. Most humans live lives of quite desperation without any connection to their souls. This is why there is such anger and hate. Everything is measured according to how much people have, not what they can aspire to. Society is locked into a box that speaks only to greed, not to hope.
After the fellow finally finished his discourse those in attendance were asked if they had any questions.
Now please understand, this is a dangerous time for me, because I always have something to say. I usually open my mouth and get myself into trouble. You would think I would have learned by now to act sweet and shy, but sorry, it is not me. I was the only Jew at the meeting, and I felt it vital that I stick my two cents worth in. “Sir, (and actually that is the title the fellow has) I feel that we are talking at each other not to each other. We, who have faith in G-d and live in a faith community, speak to others the language of hope and comfort. Those from a secular world speak the language of material greed.”
Well that sure did it, let me tell you! There were a large number of different clergy sitting there; they all woke up, “Now you’re talking.”
The outside world is living through cynical times, nothing is sacred, and no one really cares. Spirituality is seen as another product that can be packaged and sold at a profit, and it is this that creates so much havoc. Even those who claim to be fighting holy wars are being led by cynical characters who really want to get their hands on the tools of power. Our inner cities are strewn with the human debris of young people who have no idea what morality means. There are no borders, no boundaries and so these youngsters are thrown into chaos. It is interesting to remember that when Hashem created this world He created the Heavens and the earth at the same time. We then see the earth being described as being in chaos. It was Hashem’s Will that we know how He made order from that chaos, why? So that we should bring order as well.
Some of my readers will ask, “Well, Rubin, what is it our business to tell those others what to do?” Good question, only I seem to remember that we were taught somewhere that we are meant to be a “Light unto the Nations,” and that it is incumbent upon us to teach our neighbours what it is Hashem expects of them. I accept that this mitzva may not seem to be high on the curriculum of most yeshivos. True enough, but that may be because it is not necessary. If we learn and live as true Yidden then we become a Light unto Others as a by product. The baal derech eretz shows others how to live by his very manner. You cannot imagine how much kiddush Hashem our children create when they act as proper Yiddishe children. In a world of total disorder their sweet Torah ways shout out what a thousand meetings could never depict.
Of course in times past Yidden were not always in a position to speak to others. We lived in danger of our lives and had to keep a low profile. Today is a different challenge. There are no walls, and like it or not, we rub shoulders with the rest of the world constantly. Obviously I do not speak of those who are our sworn enemies, but there are many, even in Eretz Yisrael, who are in need of our example. Therefore, we should accept this new reality and understand that others are looking at us with different eyes.
The secular world is thirsty for Hashem; they just don’t know it. If they see a Torah Jew living with kindness, sharing with dignity, raising a family with love, then they may well begin to look within themselves for higher things. The redemption of the world will come when all the nations realize that which we know to be true. That Hashem is One, and that there is nothing else.
This kapital has been written with those days in mind.
MIZMOR, SHIRU LA’HASHEM … “A Psalm, Sing to Hashem, a new song for He has performed wonders; His right hand effected deliverance for Him (as did) His holy arm.”
There will come a time when all the old tunes will no longer suffice. The open wonders of Hashem’s “hand” and “arm” will inspire the world to sing a new song, something never heard before. Musical composers will tell you that all music is based on a limited number of chords. When the Moshiach comes, all that will change, for the heart of the world will seek new ways to extol Hashem’s greatness.
HODI’AH HASHEM YESHUASO … “Hashem has made known His deliverance, before the eyes of the nations He has revealed His justice.”
The nations live in insecurity; they have no safety in their position of disbelief. All the bombs, all the weapons offer nothing but more havoc and fear. When Hashem will make known His deliverance, they will realize that true peace comes only with Hashem and the harmony gained through belief in His Word.
HARI’U LA’HASHEM KOL HA’ARETZ … “Raise your voice unto Hashem all inhabitants of the earth! Burst forth into exultation, sing, and play music.”
When the entire world accepts Hashem’s word, they will no longer wage war; rather they will burst forth in song. To sing with others in harmony one must keep in time with them and allow everyone their place. Music reflects our ability to share, and this will be a hallmark of the world’s redemption.
YIR’AM HAYAM UMELO’O … “The sea and its fullness will roar with joy! [also] the world and those who dwell therein.”
The sea has been witness to all the folly of mankind. When the redemption will come that same sea will roar with joy. No longer will human blood be spilled into its waves, no longer will mankind’s wars pollute its depths. All the worlds’ inhabitants will feel this joy, and join in true happiness.
NEHAROS YIMCHA’U CHAF … “Rivers will clap hands, together, mountains will sing.”
Opposites will join in the harmonious song, because every creation will feel free to accept their own particular role in the world.
This universal song will be sung by all, and we here and now should seek to teach others the words to that song. The time will come, this we know to be true, the question is, how well prepared the world will be for it?