Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is God Fair? A Question of Faith.

This is Michelangelo's beautiful work from the Sistine Chapel showing God Creating Adam. Whether or not you believe in Creationism, or even God, the works of Michelangelo are certainly evidence of the beauty we are capable of carrying within us.

Man has been arguing religion for so long now, thousands of years, with no progress having been made concerning the respect for different beliefs. At times it seems more like a war than a theological discussion. And, at times, it has been just that.

I really enjoy stories from the Talmud and the Mishna. They are the codifications of the events, and their meanings, in the Old Testament. The Talmud and Mishna are almost as old as the Bible itself, and though they are chiefly concerned with the teachings of the Old Testament, many lessons can be learned from these wonderful stories. From them have sprung up many Talmudic "type" of stories, which usually illustrate some principle which has already been expressed in either the Talmud or the Mishna. My favorite is the one about "Two Men Coming Down the Same Chimney", which I have posted here before. But there are so many more. Here is another of my favorites, illustrating a basic concept;

Once a man was visiting a small town for the weekend. He attended the local services at the synagouge. When it was time to honor some of the congregants with Torah blessings, he noticed that the Rabbi was calling random people to be blessed, without regard to name, age or community status. After the service he went to the Rabbi to complain about what he perceived to be an unfair practice. The Rabbi said, "You have been in this synagogue only one day, and yet you feel that there is no order here? I have a list, and I make sure that everything is in order. Remember, we are only on this earth for a short time, and that God has a list, too. Rest assured, verything is in order."

The point here is that we never get to see the whole, larger picture. So how can we judge what is fair, or not? Just a thought for the day...

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