Thursday, November 10, 2011

To Everything There Is A Purpose


7 Heshvan, 5772
November 4, 2011

The great and holy Rav Kook made a small point with big implications. When the world was being created, on the sixth day, “And God saw all that God had made, and found it tov meod – very good.” (Bereishit 1:31)

What Rav Kook noticed was the inclusion of that pesky word kol – all. For, taken literally, God stated that everything God created in this world was good.

How can this be? War, death, and sickness exist in the world – are they good? Poverty, struggle, pain – are they good?

Rav Kook believed that even in what we consider to be universal evils, there is always at least a spark of good, and even in that which we would die fighting against, there is always a spark of holy purpose.

To everything there is a purpose. Without the existence of pain, human beings would never understand compassion. Without the reality of death, human beings would not push to make life sweet. Without fundamentalism, we would never have learned that even belief in God can lead a person astray. Though the existence of this purpose does not mitigate the evil contained therein, everything has a reason for being.

It is right to pray that evil disappears, and more right to work towards redemption’s arrival. But sometimes we are so busy stamping out what we don’t like about the world that we forget to understand why that evil came to be, and what it has to teach us.

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