Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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Leave Like Abraham, Hide Like Rabbi Shimon

by R. Ariel Bar Tzadok of KosherTorah.com,
reprinted with permission.

nutsBeing sane in an insane world makes the insane sane, and the sane insane! In other words, the more normal you become, the more nuts you are!

This is a very sick way to live, but unfortunately this is the way most of the world is today. Today, insanity has spread to global proportions, with only single, isolated individuals either immune, or not yet infected. What the future holds for such an insane society, only time will tell. But, I, personally, am not optimistic.

Shifting tides in values, and morals, itself is a constant. Public concepts of morality always change. We see this everywhere, in every culture, and in every century. Sometimes, a society leans to the left, and then shifts, and leans to the right, and then back again, and again. This constant movement of public sentiments is, in my opinion, a natural, normal flow of human consciousness at the collective scale.

Yet, just because human collective consciousness, and the societies that reflect it, rise and fall in natural wave-like fashion, this does not mean that pushes to an extreme will result in anything less than an equal and opposite extreme push, in order to eventually balance things back in the center. Normal highs and lows are expected. Extremes of highs and lows, lead to opposite extremes of lows and highs.

When society is pushed to an extreme, where insanity is defined as sane, and sanity is condemned as insanity, the ultimate outcome of such a situation will be an equal opposite push against the insane, new sanity. Such a push will be neither comfortable or comforting. Destroying the old, even for the sake of making way for the new, is still never an easy, or desirable period, or place in which to be.

The more and more extreme society becomes, the more and more we can rest assured that its demise is imminent. Nature hates imbalance, and does what is necessary to remove it, and to restore balance. Human collective consciousness is part of nature, and will thus not escape this inescapable natural law.

While the extremist society must face the destiny that it itself has created, this does not mean that the sane (perceived to be insane) individual cannot get out of the way of the toppling facade, and find shelter under protective wings.

There is a time for all things under Heaven. There is a time to confront a corrupt system, and then there is a time to step back and let that corrupt system self-destruct. While everyone might feel sympathy for the lost, the blind, and the misled, nevertheless, it is just bluntly impossible to save everyone.

Far too many individuals have chosen to remain attached to their precious, destabilized system. Far too many have chosen to remain lost, blind and misled, all the while proclaiming that they can see, and know exactly where they are. Yet, if they were honest with themselves, they would see that where they stand is in the pits of hell, with fire burning all around. But, I guess that reality is too hot to handle.

In Biblical times, we had our heroes, individuals who stood up and spoke out against the corrupt systems of their days. For the most part, they were silenced, tortured, and even murdered. So much for respect of the righteous! To stand up and be martyred, today, is an easy thing. To stand down, and get down, to live to fight another day, this appears to be too profound a wisdom for most to accept.

For whatever bizarre reasons, many today consider themselves superior to even our ancient role-models. The Biblical patriarch, Abraham, after doing what he could to confront, and change the corrupt system in his day, was told by God, to just leave it all behind, and to start over in a new place. Yet, today, no one wants to move. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, of Talmudic/Kabbalistic fame, after simply expressing his freedom of speech, by making a politically incorrect comment, was forced into hiding for over a dozen year, until there was finally a regime change in Rome.

Abraham and Rabbi Shimon are our role models. They were men of unquestionable integrity and resolve. Yet, both, living in different times, and under different circumstances, nevertheless, both chose the same course of action, how to best deal with the corrupt world around them. They chose to get down and to get out! And that is exactly what each did.

There is a time and purpose for all things under Heaven. There is a time for outreach, and there is a time for withdrawal. Granted, there are no absolutes with regards to most things, but with regards to what is happening in our world today, I say, let nature take its course, and let the corrupt system try to save itself. It won't! It is doomed to topple and fall, just like every other corrupt system before it. This is the way of nature, and the Hand of God. The fall will not be avoided. It is way too late for that now!

All we can do today is follow the examples of Abraham and Rabbi Shimon and get out of the way of the toppling system, so that it does not fall on top of us, crushing us to death. Burying one's head in the sand, to avoid seeing what is happening is no solution. Many today, in different religious camps, believe that their rejectionist, and separatist lifestyles, will save them from contamination. Yet, we see that this arrogant religious attitude is itself causing far more harm, than the harm it seeks to avoid. More blind are leading the blind, and burning in the pits of hell. This is not the way of Abraham, or Rabbi Shimon.

The lessons of the past serve us as guides for today. If we fail to pay attention, then we will doom ourselves to repeat the failures, (and sufferings), of the past. Those who hear will pay heed, and act wisely. Those who ignore, and seek justifications to just stay put, identify themselves clearly as being in the camp of the lost, blind and misled. But then again, this is how the Hand of God allows for natural selection.

In the end, I promise you, righteousness will survive. Indeed, maybe even the righteous themselves may survive, if and when they are willing to act upon their righteousness, and be like Abraham and Rabbi Shimon, and get out of the way! But, who listens to me, anyway?

Yes, we live in insane times, where insanity has become the new sanity, and what was once sane is now branded insane. Abraham, and Rabbi Shimon both lived in such times. They knew how to deal with it. They lived, and their stories survived, so that we can learn from their example, set so many centuries ago.

So, just how crazy are you? And, by whose standards? As for me, I like Abraham, and I only wish that I could achieve a small portion of that achieved by Rabbi Shimon! But, at least, I know the first step. That much, I have taken. As for the rest of the path, I am walking it now. As for the rest of you, well, what can I say?

If you do get my message, then let me here conclude with the words of the great Sage, Hillel, “Zil Gamar.” Go, do it!

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