Thursday, March 13, 2008

That must be it

There's been a lot of wanky theodicy around lately. As always, there are the people that are disgusted by any attempts to say God is causing terrorism (or anything else bad) to punish the Jews, and the people who, desperate to make their theology make sense, not only defend people who make such arguments, but also go five steps farther. This leads us, in turn, to rehashing the ultimate theodicy.

My Rosh Yeshiva [Yeshiva principal; head teacher] once said the following in a shmuz [talk] regarding the Holocaust: Many Gedolim [sages; leaders] made what seemed to be wrong decisions regarding the war. Does that mean the Gedolim were wrong? Obviously not. He gave the following mashul [explanation]: When someone needs to punish a flock of shep, the first thing you need to do is blind the shepherd. Otherwise, he can lead the sheep past the danger.

The same thing applied to the Holocaust: Hashem [God] needed to punish Klal Yisrael [the people of Israel]. Therefore, he had to “blind” our shepherds, the Gedolim, and take away some of the Ruach Hakodesh [Holy Spirit].

The same thing may be happening now. Hopefully, it is part of the Chevlei Mashiach [birthpangs of the Messiah], and means Mashiach is coming soon!

Remember one thing: even if this is true, that the Gedolim are being “blinded” by Hashem, we still must listen to them! We don’t know for sure, and even if they are blinded, what chance do we have making decisions on our own? A blinded shepherd is better than no shepherd at all!

Of course. That makes perfect sense. Especially if you have a stick shoved through your temple.

The ironic thing is I don't agree with the politics that drive this guy to need to explain away his rabbi's "blindness." But to have to contort your mind in so many ways to rationalize the fact that rabbis are fallible human beings? That's just kind of sad.

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