Sunday, August 14, 2005

Pay Attention

We hoped for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror.

"I will make Jerusalem heaps (of ruins), a lair of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant."

Who is the man so wise that he can understand this?

Why is the land ruined and withered like a wilderness, without anyone passing through?

"It is because they have forsaken my Law, which I set before them, and have not hearkened to my voice, nor walked by it. But have followed the stubbornness of their own heart, and after the Baalim, which their fathers taught them to worship."

"I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them."

For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion: 'O how we re ruined! We are very much ashamed, because we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwelling!'

Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, nor the strong man boast of his strength, nor the rich man boast of his riches. But let him that boasts exult in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth; for in these things I delight."

These words were not spoken by an ultraOrthodox Rabbi in Lakewood, nor by a fanatical settler in Gaza.

They were spoken by Jeremiah, a prophet, 2500 years ago, at the time of the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem. We read them this morning in the Haftarah.

How little has changed in all this time.

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