17 September 2016

A World Out of Balance

15 Elul 5776

The Torah's laws instruct us on how to live our lives and build a society in perfect balance between chesed and gevurah - mercy and justice.

Our world is currently dangerously out of balance and believe it or not, it appears to be weighted too far to the side of chesed.

Chesed is represented by water. But, just like water needs the boundaries of a vessel (a cup, a bucket, a tank) in order to make it useful instead of destructive, so does chesed need to be bound by the limits of gevurah. Unrestrained chesed manifests in the world like these floods...

Some people think: mercy = good, justice = bad. That's what we have absorbed from the corrupt common culture. Unrestrained chesed says anything goes - complete freedom - do anything you want. There are no limits. 

That is what we see expressed today in the laws and culture of Eisav and so teaches Eisav's religion (Xianity) which says it doesn't matter what you've done, mercy has already been extended via a free ticket to Heaven.

As a result of the permissiveness of Xianity, Islam came into the world to bring it back into balance with strict sharia (Islamic) justice. One extreme breeds its opposite and neither one alone is healthy for us as individuals, as communities or as a global society.

The world is in desperate need of a Torah example to follow in order to bring it back into the perfect balance of mercy joined to justice.

But, that is the job of the Jewish People in Eretz Yisrael. However, although we live among a majority-Muslim Middle East, we have attached ourselves culturally and in matters of law to the hedonistic West. And this is a large part of our problem with the Islamic world.

Everyone has heard the term Judeo-Xianity (God forbid!), but whoever heard of Judeo-Islam? Both concepts are a disaster for us and for the world. But, there is no denying the truth that the former exists (God forbid!). In days past, it was called Hellenism, but I digress.

A Jew who wants to follow the Torah in its fullness - with all its parts intact - the merciful as well as the just, is not about to sign up with ISIS or trying to create a Jewish Taliban (God forbid!). The fact that anyone could think so shows just how confused and ill-informed he is about Torah Judaism. 

If the Torah is followed as instructed to Moshe Rabeinu and passed down to the Jewish Sages until today, there are built-in checks and balances which guarantee the success of all who follow it and the most balanced approach to law that human beings can take. This will curb excesses and result in health and balance and happiness for all.