Friday, March 21, 2008

Salvation from God -- Not Desirable, according to the Torah

From the Book of Esther, chapter 4:

8. And the copy of the writ of the decree that was given in Shushan he gave him, to show Esther and to tell her, and to order her to come before the king to beseech him and to beg him for her people.
9. And Hathach came, and he told Esther what Mordecai had said.
10. And Esther said to Hathach, and she ordered him to [tell] Mordecai:
11. "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who comes to the king, into the inner court, who is not summoned, there is but one law for him, to be put to death, except the one to whom the king extends the golden scepter, that he may live, but I have not been summoned to come to the king these thirty days."
12. And they told Esther's words to Mordecai.
13. And Mordecai ordered to reply to Esther, "Do not imagine to yourself that you will escape in the king's house from among all the Jews.
14. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and rescue will arise for the Jews from elsewhere, and you and your father's household will perish; and who knows whether at a time like this you will attain the kingdom?"

Jewish tradition holds that the "elsewhere" from which the relief and rescue will come from is God. (Well, at least it's a way to insert some God-material into the one book of the Tanakh that has no mention of the Divine One. The implication of Mordechai's comment is that God wants the Jews to save themselves without His (or her) help.

Which means, instead of wasting our time praying for salvation, mashiach, etc. we should just take matters into our own hands and make the best of what we have.


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