29 July 2016

The Ageing Process Leads to Extremism

23 Tamuz 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Matot

It didn't used to be like this. In the distant past, from one generation to the next things stayed pretty much the same. For the first 5600 years of human history people got around much the same way - on foot, on the back of an animal, in a vehicle pulled by an animal or in a boat. However, in modern times, in less than one hundred years, mankind went from that to speeding down a highway in an automobile to flying in airplanes and then to blasting into space on the back of a rocket.

Like everything under its domain, time is speeding up. Things are changing so fast that each generation now seems to inhabit a vastly different reality from the one that preceded it. It is not at all uncommon to have four generations living side by side, but in many cases they are living amidst vastly different concepts and perceptions of the world around them.

I have found that given time, the older generation which simply adheres to the norms of its own era will suddenly find that society has moved on and left it behind, leaving it at the extreme edge - on the fringe - of the new one.

If you are a "senior" citizen, your views, which were considered the norm yesterday, will most likely be viewed as extreme by the younger generations today - the younger, the more "extreme". 

Who knew that the ageing process could lead to extremism? (A bit of sarcasm.)

Because of the trend for society's norms to fluctuate this way, we must tether ourselves firmly to the timeless, changeless Torah which is our only sure and solid foundation. If you want to know if you are really extreme or only appear to be extreme based on society's changing mores, look to the Torah and align yourself with the Creator's will.

~ Shabbat shalom ~