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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Confound It, Archie, Bring Me Some Beer, I'm Thinking!

The hardest thing about reading news from Israel is the sheer uncertainty. When Israelis are killed by terrorists, you know that's bad news. But beyond that you can never tell.

Palestinian election - good news or bad news? Abbas winning - good news or bad news? Sharon cutting off ties - good news or bad news? Abbas calling for an end to terrorism - good news or bad news? A sign of a new moderation? Or a new con game?

It's easy to say that only God knows. But somehow He expects us to navigate this - how?

Believe it or not, when the Talmud lists the problems in the pre-Messianic period and says that "we have no one to lean on but our Father in Heaven" there is one commentary that explains that this is part of the problem, the fact that we think we cannot contribute to ameliorating our destiny.

In other words, a person of utmost good will trying to derive a plan for living day-to-day based on that quotation cannot even be certain if it's telling him that there's nothing he can do or that he MUST bestir himself to do something.

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