Friday, July 27, 2007

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Orchestrated

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

A kind reader wrote, in response to a story I posted, "It took a long time for me to connect the dots... I wondered if I had the name of the book correct in my mind... But now you have confirmed for me what happened. Freaky."

I responded, "There is no "freaky", there's Divine Providence, all events large and small are orchestrated by the greatest of all conductors."

The Rambam, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, zt"l, one of the greatest halachic authorities of Judaism from the year ~1165 CE, wrote about hashgacha pratit, divine providence (the heavenly orchestration of events), describing different levels of heavenly attention depending on the righteousness of the person. Objects were left to the seemingly random events of nature, the simple people got a touch of divine orchestration but were mostly under 'natural' control, and the righteous full attention.

The Baal Shem Tov came along and taught that everything is divine orchestration, even a single leaf turning over and protecting a worm from the sun, is hashgacha pratit.

Which is right? The answer has something to do with both the events, and the times of the authors. The Rambam was writing for the intellectuals of his time, and responding to Greek philosphy, as the world was in the hold of the works of Plato and Socrates. He was combating the position of nature as a random force, and man at the whims of nature.

Are the positions incompatible? No, for nature is but a force of G-d, and we refer to the divine name Elokim as G-d expressed through the stable patterns of nature. When we are distant from G-d, or when He wishes to mask His actions as deeply as possible, well then, it's just nature, seeming coincidence, happenstance, the forces of the world. When we see something that appears out of the ordinary, out of bounds, beyond the normal pattern, we call it a miracle, and say that Hashem has related to us by a higher name, He's gone beyond nature.

Normally, you can't hear a single instrument out of a symphony. Or rather, to do so you have to concentrate intensely, and even then, if you are not an expert, you may not be able to do so. However, an unusual instrument, or a soloist, we always hear.

The trick is to understand, just because you hear the symphony doesn't mean every single instrument isn't carefully orchestrated. And every orchestra has a Conductor.

How can it be that I wrote a story, that came to me at that time to write to touch people, may have touched different people different ways that several felt it was meant just for them? Because the Conductor is very good at what He does.

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