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Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Smack! or "Is Ignorance Bliss?"

It is amazing how timely those smacks come. Last night I was smacked by my idealism once again, and it made me wonder, as I have often wondered, "Is Ignorance Bliss?" We set up illusions in our head because we don't want to know things, and when those things that we don't want to know are confirmed, it is hard to take. Would we be better off living with the illusion? The truth is, as much as I often want to live with the illusion, I do think we are better off knowing the truth. And I think Hashem really gives us the truth only when we are going to be capable of dealing with it, when we have grown enough so that we can use the tools we have to turn the situations into something we can learn and grow from. I also think that Hashem gives us these truths when we really need to learn something. Yudel wrote to me yesterday: "[W]e have to recognize that, as a People, we Jews are unique. This is not to undermine peoples of other nationalities, races, or ethnicities. Hashem creates us all. But we know from the Torah that Hashem made a special covenant with the patriarchs, with Avraham Avinu, and thereby singled out their progeny - us - for a special destiny, marked by a closeness to Him, by our acceptance and observance of the Torah, and by inheritance of Eretz Yisrael - to mention some of the more pivotal items. He took us out of Egypt to make good on the promise He'd made to our forbears and brought us into the holy land. It's all there, explicit and spelled out in the Torah. That you and I are Jews is not an irrelevant accident of fate; it's deliberate and purposeful. More than anything else, we want to be faithful to our Jewishness. The WORLD depends on it." After my smack yesterday, I see so clearly what Yudel is saying. That Hashem has given us the Torah is such an amazing thing, and we are so lucky to have it, and to live by it as best we can. It is such an amazing guiding light for us, to give us a road to march down, and to follow the path that Hashem wants us to follow. Other people just don't have that road to be guided by. I struggle a lot about whether it is right or not to say that Jews have a special purpose, but I now see the importance of it, and what a difference it does make. We are special, and I thank Hashem so much that He cares about us to give us His Torah. I am sorry I needed the smack, but as hard as it is to take, I can already see why it was given to me. I do NOT think ignorance is bliss, because I think you miss a lot of lessons by living with illusion.


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