an article on Mystical Paths by Reb Akiva…
There are those who revel in the failures of the holy Jewish communities. I’m not talking about the enemies of the Jewish people, not the anti-semites nor the murderous barbarians. THEY don’t need a failure to hate nor reality to motivate to kill and destroy.
No, I speak of the revelers from within. They point out every failure in the synagogue, in the rabbi’s actions, in the prayer service, in the charitable organizations, in the religious schools, teachers and administrators. Rebbe’s are not immune, nor great yeshivas and their rosh yeshivas.
They speak with shock and horror… and glee, at serious failings found. The Jew who is arrested, or the charity that did something improper, the school that discriminated, or immoral failings that damaged lives or innocence (G-d forbid).
And these things truly are terrible.
But they fail in a most critical way. While Torah is min hashamayim, while Torah is Divine and came down from Heaven, it came down to EARTH. Here there are no angels, just humans struggling in the battle between the G-dly soul and the animal soul, between the good inclination and the evil inclination. And yes, there are people with severe challenges – those who perform criminal acts and severe immoral acts. Because we are humans on Earth, and human societies have a full range of human foibles and struggles.
They cannot understand… if Torah is Divine and the religious Jewish community is fully devoted to it, why do Jewish religious communities still have… struggling failing humans? They cannot forgive Torah for not bringing perfection on Earth!
Yet Torah was not given in Heaven. It was given here on Earth, here where free will exists, where the possibility of acting against the Will of G-d is not only possible – it’s easy! Rather following the Will of G-d is hard.
This is the Divine plan, for one can only be rewarded if there is effort, which means the other path must not only exist but be a viable option. The evil therefore serves a purpose. but that doesn’t make it good – it’s still evil.
Reveling in the failure doesn’t help… neither the community, society, religion, or the world. It is it’s own special negative path. Rather, be a part of making things better! And remember, who says you would have done any better in the same circumstances?
To merit acceptance of our teshuva, we must be willing to forgive. If we want a better world, we must be willing to do our part to fix the failings. Then we truly are bringing Heaven down to Earth.
The Month of Elul is here. The King is in the Field.