Thursday, December 18, 2008

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Last week, upon returning from the shuq; I met a woman who told me that she is one of the Bank HaPoalim customers whose retirement pension was lost by Bank HaPoalim when they used the accounts, unbeknownst to the customers, to gamble in the bourse and lost.

She told me she went to the bank one day only to be told that her entire Retirement Pension had been lost. Evidently, there is a problem with the insurance covering the accounts. She was told, in a wholly non-committal way, that they hope that they will be able to recover some portion of her pension, offering no percentages or time frame.

She told me that she was told by the staff at the bank to take heart – that she wasn't the only person this happened to. Indeed, it's tremendous comfort and consolation to know that Bank HaPoalim had gambled away the life savings of a large number of pensioners all over the country.

She told me that she is a widow who had been putting away a few shekels every month for fifteen years. She must have been a young widow, as she doesn't look more than about sixty years old.

I asked her what she intends to do about it.

She answered: "What can I do? What can anyone do? "They" do whatever they want to do to little people like us. But don't you worry. There's a God in Heaven and He'll see to it that they get their just comeuppance!"

The singly most dangerous, disempowering, downright crippling social control mechanism that was ever introduced into religion is the delusion that there is a God "out there", "up there" who is going to come to my rescue – some day. "I believe. I believe. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Mashiach. And even though he tarries, still I await him". So, I need not exert myself to see to it that justice is done. I am exempt from responsibility for righting the wrongs in the world.

I could not decide if I was more heartbroken or livid. I was beside myself but I knew it would not help to tell this woman the truth. I knew I had to keep my silence until such time as she has experienced enough humiliation, fear and suffering personally and witnessed that of others that God Indwelling would burst out from the core of her being and she would know that she must take action for righteousness' sake of her own free will because the fate of her creation depends upon her Awakening. Some day she will take sufficient pity on herself and on humanity and the mesmerizing, soporific tune and repetitive directive that keeps her in lethargic thrall: "I believe. I believe. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Mashiach. And even though he tarries, still I await him" will be washed away in a flood of light of Self-realization. The fear the RaMBa"M was paid by the Sultan to inculcate in her that if she didn't believe it she wasn't a real Jew will be swept away with it, her fetters will be loosed and will break – and She will arrive and begin to save her world, bit by bit. She will know that She is the Savior, She is God, if not Almighty. There is no other.

Either we find God in the deepest interior of our own spark of indignation at injustice and fan that little spark into an inferno of realization of God Indwelling and save one another and ourselves, or no one is coming to our rescue.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Mommy, Mommy, what are the Illuminati?

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