Friday, July 15, 2011

The question no Rabbi can answer...

People often say to me: What is the toughest question you have been asked as a Rabbi?
There are questions that have answers and others that simply no one can or is authorised to answer.
The horrifying news this week - of the brutal murder of Leiby Kletzky on his way back from summer camp in Boro Park – is one such question. Our thoughts and prayers are with Libey’s family at this terrible hour.
The truth is when things like this happen; there is only one direction to which these questions can be directed, that is heavenward.
Below are some thoughts I gathered from on this painful issue:
Of all the questions we ask, why does this one never receive a satisfactory answer? We believe our Torah is a Torah of truth, of divine wisdom, yet of all the questions it answers, why on this one does it fail us?
We are told that good cannot come without evil, just as darkness cannot come without light.
But, G d, could You not do whatever You please? Could you not create light without darkness, good without evil? At the very least, did You have to create an evil so hideous?
We are told that commensurate to the darkness will be the light; commensurate to the pain will be the reward. Looking at this world and the pain we have suffered, the reward must be beyond any measure.
But does everything have to be measured so precisely? Can a G d who is good allow such horror, even if ultimately it will tuen out, dare we say it, for the best?
We are told that human beings must be given free choice. That this is the ultimate kindness of G d to humankind: He grants us the space to fail, and the opportunity to achieve greatness on our own.
But if this is kindness, then what is cruelty? Are there no limits? Even the most liberal parents, if they care, will have limits on the freedoms they grant their children. And here, in our world, we see ugliness without bound.
One day, we will understand. Until then, we must be outraged. We must recoil with horror, we must reach deep inside ourselves, we must protest to G d Himself. For only the righteously indignant can heal this world.
That is our answer for now: That we cannot be allowed to understand. For if we would understand, we would not be outraged. And if we were not outraged, then why would we ever stand up and do all that is in our power to prevent such horrors from happening again?
Shabbat Shalom

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