Things Never Seem To Work Out The Way You Thought They Would

Quite a few years ago, speaking with one of my oldest and closest friends, I complained that things never seem to work out the way you thought they would. Her reply was, “Sometimes they work out better.” Sometimes….

We humans are inherently short-sighted creatures. While we can look backwards quite a distance, forward we can only see up to the next turn in the road. Predicting the future, whether basing those predictions on the past or on any analytical tools we might invent, is a very low-yield activity. If it were otherwise, we’d all be sitting at the beach after striking it rich on the stock market.

I’m old enough to have been called “Christ-killer” as a child and beaten up for that. I grew up in a very close Jewish community in Denver, not long after the Holocaust, and everyone who heard about it was shocked, sympathetic and supportive. I was certain in those days that this reality was permanent–Christians would always, at least deep in their hearts, hate Jews and Jews would always come to the rescue of other Jews.

One of the miracles of the current war against Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorists is the unprecedented unity of the Jewish people in Israel. As the cliché goes, if you have two Jews you have three opinions, and if they’re Israeli you have thirty! But today only a tiny group of idealogues in Israel refuse to see the life-and-death necessity of engaging in this war.

Ironically, the story in the United States is radically different. While support for Israel used to be the one issue that would unite American Jews across the denominational (including non-affiliated) spectrum, moral relativity and “narrative” theory, the new pornography, are the beliefs-of-choice of a very significant and extremely influential segment of our people. The usually admirable instinct to protect the underdog has been hijacked by evil cynically masquerading as victim. For too many of them, Israel is the villain, God forbid.

Things don’t seem to be working out like I imagined they would.

On the other hand, Israel’s greatest friends in the US these days are Christian. The children and grandchildren of the people who cursed me now bring legislation and use their political leverage to protect Israel. They witness that the people who used to be condemned as Christ-killers are the only protectors of Christians in the entire middle east.

Sometimes they work out better.

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4 Responses to Things Never Seem To Work Out The Way You Thought They Would

  1. david says:

    That’s really weird, I never thought about it that way. Thanks.

  2. Rebecca Gmail says:

    Thanks, Rabbi Harry. This is very timely. May the coming Shabbat bring our worries to diminishing size and with G!d’s help, let there be peace in Israel soon.

    • Amen. Your statement, the kernel of this article, was also so incredibly timely then.
      Believing that God exists doesn’t take much of a “leap of faith”. Believing that even disasters and tragedies do, eventually, lead to a much better world is much greater challenge. I constantly study our holy texts that refer to the painful processes necessary to refine each of us and the world in general, and intellectually it all makes sense, but it’s still a difficult pill to swallow.
      Have a wonderful Shabbat.

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