Loving Rebuke vs. Hateful Invective – by Jim

Derek,

I am unsure of the purpose for your comment.  I would like to say this, however, that it is dangerous for us as non-Jews (which I assume you are, like myself) to judge Israel harshly.  It is true that throughout Tanach, the prophets reprimand Israel.  But it is also clear that this is for their betterment, not for outsiders to forge an opinion about Jewish sinfulness.  In fact, when a non-Jew is given a prophecy regarding Israel, Balaam, he is not given a message regarding Israel’s sins.  Instead he speaks like this: “He [God] observed no falsehood in Jacob, and saw no vexation in Israel.  Hashem, his God, is with him, and the shout of the King is with him” (Numbers 23:21).

I consider it like this: at times, I must correct my children.  And someone from the outside, hearing me reprimand one of them might come to the conclusion that my children are rather ill behaved.  But it is not so.  Both of my daughters are quite wonderful.  They are really developing into quite kind-hearted people, but like all children, they have their moments.  A stranger, hearing me correct one or both of them, might assume the opposite.  But he would be wrong.  And if I am telling someone about my children, I do not speak of their mistakes; I tell them how great my children are and how much I love them.

Now sometimes with non-Jews, they read Tanach, and they see the reprimands of God and they take it as a sign that the Jews are in some way bad.  They are mistaken.  Not only does he reprimand them; he tells them of his great love for them.  And that is ignored.  When he gives a message regarding Israel to non-Jews, he tells them how good Israel is, just like I would talk about my children.

I think we cannot ignore one other thing.  The prophets did give over some difficult words to Israel.  But what did He have to say to the other nations?  Many of those words are even harder.  And what is often overlooked is that God gives correction to Israel, but He also gives words of comfort and promise.

Jim

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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3 Responses to Loving Rebuke vs. Hateful Invective – by Jim

  1. Dina says:

    Jim, this is great!

    Peace and blessings,
    Dina

  2. Donna Lampson says:

    Very Well Said & very important reminder ! Thank you Jim.

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