Okay, this was my Rosh HaShanah sermon . . . WAIT! Don’t leave just because it’s a sermon. Give it a chance. It might interest you.
I wish I had heard your sermon in person. I believe you are absolutely right. We don’t want our world disturbed when things are going well.
Thank you also for your post on the prayer from Psalms 51:10.
Both posts were a real blessing.
wow…great points. i think that we do so often seek God in hard times and ignore Him in bad.
this is one reason my family has started to say Grace after Meals. it is easy to pray before the meal, because you are hungry and want God to fill you. but when you are full… (not to mention its how God commanded Israel to pray)
Yashe Koach again.
1) Your points are “spot on”. We need to “want Moshiach now” to borrow a phrase from a well known Jewish organization. I think we are all too influenced by certain Christian beliefs that place the redemption in the realm of the rigidly predetermined. Certainly G-d is sovereign but he has asked us to partner with him. I commend you on this as well as your reading of the Chofetz Chaim on LaShon Hara which dovetails with this issue.
2) Your review of the phenomenon of Sabbatianism was important. I think it would be good for your readers to add a few other points which they may not be aware of: a) Lest they think that this phenomenon was limited to a ‘superstitious Jewish community chasing false Messiahs’, they should be aware that the excitement surrounding Sabbatai Zvi was not limited to the Jewish community. G. Scholem’s tome on the subject seems to imply that there was a great deal of Sabbatai enthusiaism in Christian corners as well. As I recall he even quotes Cotton Mather giving “last days” sermons from New England about a Jewish army in Palestine being raised by him. Many Christians thought this was the second coming. In addition, the Muslim world was not unaffected. Thus his imprisonment by the Turks.
b) It is interesting to note how several developments in modern Judaism and Christianity which are now converging may have gotten their impetus from this phenomenon. These include: The interest in “Israel and the Last Days” among Protestant Christians and their support for “Israel”, The development of Zionism as a political force, and last but not least the coming of the Baal Shem Tov and the Chassidic movement. Where would modern MJ be without these things?
Maybe someone with an ability to synthesize and a scholarly bent might be able to examine these things in more detail and more accurately than I have here.