Tuesday, July 26, 2011

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A Jewish Extremist

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

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A reader asked:

     “The blessing that the kohanim (priests) bless us with is called the triple blessing, but in it we ask for four blessings. They say that the first two (blessing and guarding), are really one, because one without the other is worthless.

     “So it seems that all of our prayers are like this. Although we usually pray for only the most urgent things, the Sages have taught us to pray for many things, because any one of these things without the other is meaningless. You need a balance of all these things to live and prosper.

    “This theme of balance is evident in all of Hashem’s creations. The ecosystem, the universe, even our own bodies; if even one little thing goes off balance, the ripple effects are catastrophic.

“Do you have any insights to share?”

Gutman responds:

     That famous blessing is called triple, because in it we ask Hashem to bless us three times.

     “Hashem bless you and guard you. Hashem make His countenance shine upon you and be gracious to you. Hashem turn His countenance toward you and grant you peace.”

     As for your desire for balance, the Torah does teach us to take the center path, so in a way, you could say that this represents balance. Certainly what you say seems to make sense.

     But in truth, my personal goal is not balance. I am an extremist--an ultimate-ist--and as such, I always search for the most complete solution… revealing G-d’s glory in all that I do. I do not want a little good mixed with a little bad, or a little of this with a little of that. I would like to see the ultimate, final Redemption come right now.

     Yes, if you have a toothache you do not pray at that time for your livelihood, but you know what? When the redemption comes, there will be no more tooth aches. Yes, I yell about the toothache, but I say, “G-d take the toothaches away! Bring Your final redemption now.”

     I do not see those blessings as representing a balance because they just keep getting better and better, until finally the blessing ends with peace. There can be no peace if anything good is missing. Not even a tiny toothache, nor a single lost soul can remain. So, I do not see balance as the goal, but rather G-d revealing His glorious Presence and all of the other things will also be healed.

     The one blessing of peace really includes all of the other blessings. You cannot have true peace if you do not have all of those other important things. And this is why His Name is Shalom (Peace).

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