Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Holocaust in Support of Rebellion

A Jewish Author wrote:
"This idea of God as half-security blanket ... is completely antithetical to the idea of God I was raised with. The God I was brought up to worship was a mercurial force requiring annual appeasement in the form of High Holiday services, when the entire congregation would gather to personally apologize to Him for eating bacon and cheating on our taxes, and beg Him not to kill us this year.

"... I mean, if He couldn't be bothered to intervene in the Holocaust why intervene for me .... There is no plan. I'm one of billions scurrying around a senseless universe. And honestly, the idea couldn't come as more of a relief."
In response:

The single argument that consistently arises among rebellious Jewish disbelievers in God reverts back to the Holocaust. How could a "wise" and "beneficent" God, they ask, have destroyed 6 million people - and of His people no less?

This question takes as its premise that this God must be understandable, as least enough to provide a good answer for so obvious an injustice.

By demanding an answer, this question, in effect, wants to cast God in anthropomorphic guise, as a God that makes "human sense", which really tells you more about the questioner than it does of his object of inquiry. The questioner reckons his mind will grasp the explanation and the scope of that explanation, and if not, this God cannot fit his reasoning. Hereby we sense the mindset of an inflated ego.

As to why the Holocaust occurred, we cannot answer. The Jewish prophets relayed the words of God to the Jewish people, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways." (e.g., Isaiah 55:8)

In fact, says Maimonides, God's thoughts, unlike man's, are not set apart from Him, as thoughts and the thinker can be separated in man; God and His thoughts are - one and the same! How can this be? We cannot even begin to fathom this reality; We'll simply never know.

But our ignorance of God should not surprise us. Can a nest know its bird? Can an explosion understand its etiology? Can milk understand the cow? In other words, can a product know its maker? The idea that man can get to "know" his creator is infinitely more ludicrous.

That's not to say God keeps us completely in the dark. He gave us Torah and prophecies from which we can learn how best to behave and interact with the world at large - to please Him, as well as for our own benefit.

That we have questions about God's leadership is fine; But to take this doubt as justification for abandoning Him - really is more a self-serving convenience than a reasoned response on whether to acknowledge a controlling omnipotent deity. To perceive the world as "senseless" can only come from a simmering, restless mindset oblivious of all the wonderous phenomena and natural aesthetics that surround us. For every process in the universe, from the nanoscopic to the astronomic, reveals beautiful and amazingly intricate organization. Despite the full-scoped continuous blueprint of brilliant planning displayed by nature, the tunnel-vision of this Jewish author sees "no plan", no organization. Were she to walk the desert and find lying in the sand a fine-tuned Swiss watch, her high-strung mind might just conclude that "random events" created that masterpiece, and by mere accidents of nature it ended up by her feet.

No doubt the argument of "no plan and no organization" is a whimsical add-on to the author's main protestation - that which relates to the Holocaust. The anger for the Holocaust effectively renders all thought of universal planning and organization as practically irrelevant. The author's anger gets in the way of reasoning with equanimity, and until that primary emotion cools off, it will block any logic or reasoning from consideration. On the other hand, it may well be she seeks a good reason for rebelling, and by flaunting a "respectable discourse" she can convince herself and justify her break with tradition.

Anger and its associate, the inflated ego, Torah tells us, interfere with persuasion. But once that anger dissipates, space now becomes available for the brain, perched over the heart, to convey to the heart plenty of good reasons to reject anger and, instead, appreciate and trust our benevolent God Almighty.

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