The avoda-zara of Trumpism is a deep sin
What's harder, for me, as a rabbi & therefore a representative of my people to Hashem, is how to argue we should be saved on YK
Moreover, how to repair the grave sin of the frum community during the #TrumpCrisis is beyond my abilities while they cling lovingly to the sheretz.
1st talk: Toechchot don't seem to work.
We have 2, here & in Bechukotai, b/c both are the final stages of the covenant process. Once the rules are taught, there's boilerplate warning to signatories abt violation
It's mind-blowing when you see it. It's an all-positive tochecha.
Ex. 23:25 "He will bless your bread and your water... remove sickness from your midst. 26 No woman in your land shall miscarry or be barren. 27 I will send forth My terror before you, ... and I will make all your enemies turn tail before you."
11 The LORD will give you abounding prosperity in the issue of your womb, the offspring of your cattle, and the produce of your soil...
In this sense, I posit the 13 Middot are part of the 2nd tochecha.
So the Ki Tavo one is even longer. A greater description of the horrors of violating the brit
Pilegesh at Giva'a is pretty much our lowest state.
And that doesn't work.
This is the pattern. My teachers actually used the Eliyahu vs Elisha contrast to teach it.
The methods of his student, Elisha, were miracles of charity & comfort (let's ignore the bears, please)
Without knowing myself, the warning is useless.
I chuckle, even, at the poor saps who will get punished.
I see this as part of what the wise Alexandra Erin calls the Shirley Exception
Without the ability to peer into ourselves and accept (self) criticism, we are doomed.
So many people need therapy, my God
Mental health *is* a medical necessity.
Accept that & then move on to understanding yourself.
"Meaning well" while you condemn others to the ICU or homelessness... not a defense
This is wisdom hard won through 2020 & the #TrumpCrisis
Is this a curse, or a consequence?
It didn't need to be this way. It's all come about because too many people in America are filled with hate & cruelty
We say certain mitzvot give us long life in this world & the world to come. Honoring parents, for example.
I look at the sins of the generation of the flood this way. They destroyed the earth (climate change, anyone?) through rapine & selfishness. Chamas.
God lovers can read the Tochecha like we read all of Torah: telling us truth. Sin leads to hell on earth
We have pestilence (Covid19), famine (no jobs, no money, no food), and death. 200,000! It's ghastly.
We have 2 weeks to prepare ourselves for the Tochecha in Elul, 2 weeks to absorb it before RH.
God's mercy to the Jewish people is to allow us a 10 day makeup period until Yom Kippur.
"Our Biblical landscape of terror is a direct result of sin" not "cause"