More on this weeks Torah Portion, Ki Tetzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness …” – Martin Luther King
It would appear that love is the highest of emotions, yet is it enough and should it be first in our priorities?
In the Torah; in the Shema, we are commanded to love God with all our heart(s), with all our soul and with all our might.
And there is no question that love brings joy, but is it enough as it can also bring tears?
One of America’s greatest and most well-known marriage counsellors, Rabbi Schmuley Boteach says that love is not enough when it comes to marriage, but that lust needs to be cultivated between a couple and especially cultivated by the husband. His book on marriage, ‘Kosher Lust: Love is not the Answer’ is in my opinion the best ever written on the subject.
He writes: “When men lust for their wives, and act on this lust in the proper way, almost any marriage can be made whole.”
So in marriage love is not enough, but this is even more widely true.
Love in bringing some closer can at the same time make others more distance and even make others feel rejected, which may be why that, in this week’s Torah Portion we are given the lesson that when love is likely to be the cause of conflict, it must take second place to justice.
To quote Rabbi Sacks on this:
“Love is partial, justice is impartial.
Love is for someone specific; justice is for everyone.
Love brings personal satisfaction; justice brings social order…
When it comes to the relationship between humans, there is an order of priority. First create justice, then express love. For if we let those priorities be reversed, allowing injustice in the name of love, we will divide and destroy families and groups and suffer the consequences for a long time….
without justice, love will not save us. It may even destroy us.“
It seems we are in a world increasingly descending into hate, into fear and isolation and totalitarianism. We can try to heed Martin Luther King and shine light and love into our world, but perhaps first we need to seek justice.
Perhaps we should start by shining light and love and truth on the greatest injustice that exists in our world today.
And then after exposing this injustice with light and love and truth, we can then try to bring justice to bear. And maybe with some success, and some justice we might see a love grow that might truly expose other injustices and bring much light and truth to bear.
And what is this ‘the greatest injustice’?
Abortion. The murder of the most vulnerable and innocent of humanity, the unborn child.
The numbers defy belief at 50 million+ pa worldwide! Nothing else comes close, yet perhaps all other injustices feed on this, the greatest injustice.
If we can’t see injustice here, how can we hope to see it elsewhere?
Yet, here’s the rub. I have been involved in the pro-life movement for some 35 years and while I have seen individual lives saved, I deeply despair that we are capable of rectifying this the greatest injustice.
I see only One Hope and One Man, the Messiah Yeshua ben Yosef.
We need him now, we need his return as Messiah ben David; in the full power and authority of the One God Yehovah to bring restoration, redemption and rectification to this world.
I don’t believe there is any other option or hope for this world as it sinks further into ignorance that breeds hate and division.
We should never give up as we are called to do ‘tikkun haOlam’ (Repair the World), and if we know the One True God of Israel and His Truth we would want to be found faithful, yet I don’t think we can do it without divine intervention.
Acts 17:31 “… because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising him from the dead.”
Revelation 19:11: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and wages war.”
So this Shabbat and every day I pray, Come Lord Yeshua, come!
For more on ‘tikkun haOlam’ please see my article Amazing Grace on ‘building the world with grace’ (Psalms 89:2). – http://circumcisedheart.info/Amazing%20Grace.pdf