November 5, 2016, Israel
Evil people drowning during the Great Flood, God's great purge. What can we learn from this story?
Evil. Just turn on the daily news or pick up a history book, it is all around us. Yes, what a wonderful world it is, and truly there are wonderful things but there is also a great deal of evil.
There is hatred, war, rape, slavery, human trafficking, drugs being sold to minors, violent street attacks, racism, gang warfare, home invasions, and beheadings and crucifixions are making a comeback.
Now what if somehow magically we could wipe out all the evil people in one fell swoop, wouldn't that just be grand?
How about if we can start all over again with only the good people? Sounds like a plan.
Well, that actually happened, a long time ago. But it did not solve the problem.
"The earth had become corrupt...and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt. for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth.
And God said to Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them..." (Genesis, Chapter 6)
God plans to destroy mankind, but he will save a seed to start over.
"And the Lord said to Noah, Come to the ark, you and your household, for I have seen you as righteous in this generation.... " (Genesis, Chapter 7, verse 1)
Yes, God will save the righteous and from them will come a race of good righteous people. Sounds like a good plan!
As long as mankind exist the problem exists.
However as soon as the flood was over God realized that this would never work. Yes, he wiped out all the evildoers, all the criminals, all the people who riot and shoot at police and rape little girls, they are all gone. The gamblers, the gangstas, all gone. But God realizes that the problem is not solved. For the problem is inherent in man himself. As long as mankind exist the problem exists.
"And God said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground anymore for man's sake, for the inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth, neither will I again smite any more every living thing as I have done."(Genesis, Chapter 8, verse 21)
And sure enough within a few generations the problem emerges again, the evildoers of Sodom and Gomorra, unspeakable depraved acts.
Destroying the evildoers does not solve the problem. So, what does?
We must take action on our own. We must be our own guardians.
Some say teach people not to be violent. Yes, very nice. Some say, teach your kids how to fight.
We work on two levels; on one hand we work on education, values, morals. Yes, we never give up on mankind. We build schools, we act as role models. To all those righteous people who established schools, hospitals, charitable organizations, therapy centers: We salute you. To all those who fought against child labor, we salute you. For all those who worked for the betterment of mankind, we salute you.
We must always work on ourselves. We must start with ourselves and make ourselves worthy role models. We must never give up on mankind.
On Mankind we never give up, but on certain people we must.
The second level is self-protection: God himself tried to wipe out the evildoers, and with a sigh...he gave up. He said never again will I wipe out mankind, it doesn't help, man's nature is evil from his youth. So killing the bad guys is only a temporary solution.
In a sense God is saying, listen, wiping out the bad guys doesn't work, evil will return in another form, another person, another group. Rome dies but Nazi Germany arises. There will always be a Stalin, a Pol Pot. We can't escape evil, so we better learn how to cope with it: It is here to stay.
So evil is with us, forever, God is telling us we can win World War One, but that will not solve the problem. We can win World War Two and crush Nazi Germany, we can burn Hitler but evil still lives among us. No nation has a monopoly on evil. Nazi Germany was defeated but the United States government rescued some of the greatest Nazi minds and brought them to America. The concentration camps close but the Gulag opens. Evil lives: at any given time, some group is being persecuted, someone is being held in captivity for no good reason, someone is piling up a mountain of skulls.
Evil lives beside us and we better learn to cope with that. We must be prepared at all times and on all levels. Evil lurks around the corner, evil rests besides us.
And God says wiping out the worlds' population is not the solution. It does not work. Evil abides.
So as the wise author of Solla Sollew points out we cannot escape our troubles, so we buy a big bat and we learn how to use, so that our troubles will have trouble with us!
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