30 July 2006

Tisha B'Av - God removed his presence

I just don't get it. First in a series of God knows how many.

Can someone explain this to me?

God took away the Neviim from us because we were not behaving ourselves. And if that wasn't enough, because we still had not repented, we lost the second Bais Hamikdosh as well. Still not behaving? God sends the Church, the Muslims, the Nazi's, etc.

If you had a troubled child, what's the right way to handle the situation. Do you throw your child out? Do you to smack him senseless? Do you excommunicate him. Do you embarrass her in front of the rest of the class?

That's a sure way of losing him or her forever.

Yeah, yeah, I've hear the Dubner Magid parables about a King who teaches his son a lesson by throwing him out of the palace. Well, it's a poor example. Firstly in most cases it simply does not work. We see first hand, how children that are not loved, do not behave well.

Secondly, the Prince is still well aware of the kings majesty. The King has not gone into hiding.

If we didn't behave when God's Neviim were with us, how can God expect better now when there are no prophets?

If we didn't behave when there were open miracles in the first Temple, when the Shechina was manifest, how can God expect better of us now?

It's like a student that's not doing well in school, what do you do? Do you fire the teacher and bring in a lesser instructor? No, you need to add tutoring, not take away the teacher.

If the Dor Deah sinned, how would we do better?

The people who witnessed Yetsias Mitzraim, the people who are the basis for the Kuzari's argument, rebelled countless times, we're going to do better? We who are far removed and have no idea whether there even is a God are going to get it right?

God needs to move closer to us, not further away.

I know this is nothing new, and my treatment of this above is quite superficial, but stripped down to bare bones that's the situation.

It just makes no sense.

May the nation of Israel live safely and securely together with the rest of the world.

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    At July 30, 2006 2:06 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    I heard a speech this shabbos about how the world keep knocking us down and we survive. We are the winners.

    Well isnt that Hizbollah says?
    israel destroys everything, but as long as one of them survives they are the winner.

    It sounds like a perversion of the term winning.

    How different is taliban, hisbollah from orthodox ideology.
    why is it that we seem to say the same things?
    How can we be the truth, if every uses the same lines?

    At July 30, 2006 3:29 PM, Anonymous Jewishskeptic said...

    >"Can someone explain this to me?

    God took away the Neviim from us because we were not behaving ourselves. And if that wasn't enough, because we still had not repented, we lost the second Bais Hamikdosh as well. Still not behaving? God sends the Church, the Muslims, the Nazi's, etc"

    Well,here is the Orthodox -Chareidi
    We deserve punishment because we are an 'am kshe oref'.
    We are still his children because of the covenant He made with the Avot.
    As He loves us so much He has no choice but punish us .He just follows the advice given in Proverbs 13:24 "chosech shivto sone beno"
    This the traditonal answer.
    Take it or leave it...

    At July 30, 2006 4:28 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Odd, thats not the explanation I was taught.

    First, lets look at G-d as a reality, not as some guy sitting on a chair.

    If we have neviim, and we don't listen, it is not a punishment that G-d distances himself from us, it is a concequence that we distance ourselves from G-d.

    It is said that anything you want to do, G-d permits. Meaning, when you do an averah, you don't find your body unable to do it. G-d lets you live with your consequences.

    Another explanation.

    You are in essence correct, but your conclusion is wrong. How can one expect better behavior if we lose prophets? The answer is we can't. Therefore, since we can't be expected to behave better, than our punishments for not behaving get lessened. In the modern court system, people who have bad childhoods get a lesser sentance than people who have good childhoods.

    So if we arn't going to listen with prophets around, instead of being given direct word of G-d and STILL disobyeing, thus being really really bad, and maybe deserving death, G-d removes himself and therefore if don't listen, we get punished with a small drought, instead of a famine.

    But the question can be asked in the reverse, whats the point of Having prophets in the first place, if when the Jews saw G-d himself, they built a golden calf. G-d should just remove himself from the world entirely like the angels in the Midrash suggest.

    At July 30, 2006 9:08 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >God needs to move closer to us, not further away.

    Just noticed this line... G-d does not move, G-d is infinite, we move.

    At July 30, 2006 9:49 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy, it is interesting when you look at it from the Muslim side, which I hate to do.

    Don't forget they're also praying to the same monotheist God as we are and there's a lot more of them than us. That's a scary thought.

    I once heard a Rav say that Yoshmoel is very strong because God is still rewarding them for Bris Mila.

    Don't ask me what it all means.

    At July 30, 2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Jewishskeptic, That answer used to satisfy me, but not anymore. I guess it doesn't float your boat either.

    At July 30, 2006 10:03 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Irviner, barring this last generation of blessing, it certainly doesn't seem as if our punishments have been getting any easier. On the contrary, it seems to be getting worse. Not that I can really know, but according to one history book I've read, until the 1850's or so there was no real anti-semitism. Everyone was treated badly, e.g.the inquisition reaaly targeted Christicans. IN early Rome, Christians were thrown to the lions. The Crusades was the Christicans targeting th Muslim's. Yes, we got caught up in it, but we were not the real targets. Check out God, Jews & History by Max Dimont. So anti-semitism, where jews were singled out, is something new to plauge us. God has been treating the Jews with kid gloves lately? I don't think so.

    And besides, I can understand punishment, but the concept of Hester Panim still does not sit well. If we can't cut it when God's Shechina is here, how will we live up to it when there's Hester Panim?

    As for God not leaving, the metaphor we've always learnt is that the schechina left.


    At July 31, 2006 12:34 PM, Anonymous Jewishskeptic said...

    >"I once heard a Rav say that Yoshmoel is very strong because God is still rewarding them for Bris Mila"

    Yes,I too heard this nonesense.
    I even saw it in print in a pamphlet by a keruv clown rabbi..

    At July 31, 2006 2:09 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    When I was in higschool I always wondered why people did not think that G-d's promise to Avaraham did not also apply to Ishmael.

    I still don't understand why people don't see that, and why someone would think it is nonsense.

    At July 31, 2006 2:32 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Baal, seperating the shechinah from G-d as a reality is pretty darn close to Idolotry.

    The Shechinah is just the aspect of G-d that we understand as a means to have a relationship with a divine being.. The Shechinah is not a seperate beign that moves while G-d doesn't....

    As for your historical arguments, I think you need a wider selection of History books, and try to prevent yourself from saying "I agree with this historian, therefore he is right and the others are wrong"

    I feel sorry that nobody taught you what it really means to have hester panim vs having prophets. It appears to me that even if we had a prophet today, nobody who needs a prohpet would believe him anyways. The talmud says that you can know a group of false prophets from real prophets because the FALSE prophets all say the same thing, while the Real prophets all give you different details and ways of understanding.

    In the modern era, human nature acts in the reverse. If we had a bunch of false prophets all telling us the same thing, then they would be beleived over the real prophets who tell subtle differences.

    At July 31, 2006 3:03 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Irviner, so Yishmoel is now a Metzuvo V'eose?

    As for seprating Shecina from Ball, exactly I'm not. You asked how I can state that God left us. I replied because we always have been told that the Shecina left. Ergo, so God left us.

    Where did I say I agree with that historian? I specifically said I don't know!

    IC, I really don't follow what you're saying about the prophets. All I know is that God punished us with Hester Panim, right? So I repeat, If the Dor Deah could not please God, even with open miracles, how will we ever please God?

    At July 31, 2006 4:57 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Hester Panim is not a punishment, there has always been Hester Panim. Without Hester Panim, freewill does not exist.

    Not having the temple is the punishment, and it is said that G-d also "left his temple" up high to be in exile with us.

    Not having a unified Jewish people in our country is a punishment.

    Not being a light unto the Nations which is loved by our neighbors is a punishment.

    At July 31, 2006 5:30 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > Hester Panim is not a punishment,

    IC, If I recall correctly, its a punishment in the Tochacha, "Vanochi Aster.."

    I'll look it up when I get a chance.

    At July 31, 2006 8:56 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    IC, see Pasuk 17.


    Devarim 31:17
    And I will wax angry at them on that day and I will forsake them and I shall conceal My face from them and they will be for consuming and many evils and troubles will happen to them; and they will say on that day, "Look! Because my G-d is not within me did these evils happen to me."

    At July 31, 2006 9:57 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    You can really read that verse many ways.

    One way, is what you are saying, that somehow G-d, the infinite one, the one that is never changing, hides Himself and because of this we have troubles and evils.

    Another way, is that somehow G-d, the infinite one, the one that is never changing, will be Viewed By Humans, as having left us, and we will blame our troubles on the lack of G-d, which will then bring us closer to G-d and releive us of our pains. Meaning, that it is not G-d who leaves us, it is us that leaves G-d, and when we leave Him, we will feel troubles.

    It is very hard to understand the concepts of "I am a jealous god" and "I get angry".. but you have to remember that G-d is constant, it is US who change in our relationship, not G-d.

    At August 01, 2006 7:50 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Irviner, I think I reached the limit for going around in circles, at least for this one post :)

    At August 01, 2006 1:29 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...


    I guess I wasn't getting very far in explaining that G-d does not, and cannot change. Either Humans change, or the physcial world around us changes, but G-d is forever constant.

    At August 02, 2006 1:20 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

    For one thing, the stress of the exile has purified the Jewish people. Only the most sincere have remained. At the same time, many gentiles have joined as the Jews have wandered the world. So the worst Jews have left and the best gentiles have joined.

    At August 02, 2006 2:27 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    I always knew was sincere.


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