light in the darkness

Illuminating the Darkness

“When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness.”

-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

In the wake of the devastating Islamic terrorist attack on the city of Paris, I really wish I could “illuminate the darkness,” as Rabbi Freeman suggests. But all I can see is the encroachment of that darkness on our world, the coming of destruction, the advent of great evil.

MessiahYesterday, I cried out how long, Moshiach…how long until you come? I know he heard. I know he will come. But how many more must suffer and die, how often must evil believe it has won because it stands unopposed, until Hashem has said it is enough, and the final war begins?

Insanity, from frivolity to massacre, rule our planet, and if I had to depend on the news media for my global view, I would believe there were no sane human beings left and that our world was already doomed.

And yet, these are the times when our faith is tested, when we have to face the question of whether God has abandoned us, or worse, that there is no God and we live in a universe where morality is always relative, and that one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter. Or can we believe that this too indicates the birth pangs of the Messiah must become ever more severe before the time of his return?

If we can sustain our faith, we will believe the latter.

I want to illuminate the darkness, to sweep away despair, to shine like a light on a hilltop, but frankly, I’m not that heroic. All I can do is keep slogging away, moving forward, hip deep in mud, doggedly determined, and hope and pray I can keep going until the great and terrible day of the Lord.

I pray that for us all. I pray that for Paris, for those who continue to suffer in the aftermath of September 11th, for those who suffer everyday in Israel at the hands of terrorists…at the hands of evil.

In a statement attributed to Edmund Burke, Charles F. Aked, and others, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

I want to get political and say that the “good men” of our government habitually “do nothing,” but this war won’t be won by nations and political parties because it’s not a war of nationalities, but rather, of light vs. darkness, good vs. evil.

However, this isn’t to say we have no participation and that we must watch silently as this all plays out in the spiritual world. No, we are very much involved. People are dying. Our enemies are gloating. We must respond.

paris attacks
Credit: BBC News

But how?

Pray?

Yes, but as a meme I saw recently on the web stated, we must also be prepared for violence, and even for some of us, to do violence. Soldiers will fight in very human wars as they always have, and many more will die.

I don’t know what to do except what I am doing…writing. Pray for Paris, pray for the defeat of ISIS, but most of all, pray for the peace of Jerusalem. It’s not that God doesn’t weep for the people slain in France last Friday night, but we must admit that Israel, of all the nations, is at the center of His mind and heart and spirit. It is through the redemption of Israel that the rest of the nations will be redeemed.

It is in the war to defend Israel that Hashem, Master of Legions, will defeat all evil forever.

However horrible the terrorist attack against Paris is, it’s just another skirmish. The war is coming. We must be ready. We must be ready to give battle. We must be ready to be the light of the world. We must be the light of the world now, so the world, if it wills, will draw near the light of Moshiach, our master, our King.

peaceHe will prevail and in him, we will prevail as well. Indeed. We have already prevailed if we don’t wait for the peace of our Rav to come in the future but to seek it and embrace it now, even in the face of great adversity.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7 (NASB)

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8 thoughts on “Illuminating the Darkness”

  1. An amazing response was people in Paris opening their doors to people on the street to allow them, strangers, to take shelter.

  2. I decided to tune in to a certain maligned news channel, tonight, to see what’s happening there. They weren’t on the topic of Paris when I first turned there. Maybe I’m supposed to conclude that makes them bad already; I would disagree with that. The topic they first covered [again, first after I tuned in, not first like they were talking about that as the most important matter and leaving out Paris] — first that used the word “terrorist” — had to do with China. It was reported that China has killed 28 people in western China, people they called terrorists. The person reporting emphasized they (they, as in the Chinese government — “security forces” there). What do you think? Should we take China’s word for it? Should the news channel take their word for it?

    The next news half hour was heavily about Paris from the beginning. Let’s see (I’m looking at it recorded now and then will go to bed); the properly-applied words and phrases used were (and the whole show was proper, so there weren’t inappropriate things said), not in this order… viscous, terrorism, terrorist-related offences, perpetrators, mayhem, attacks, tragedies, failures, terrorist financing, radicalized, graver offences, terrorism networks expert, massacre, law enforcement, intelligence, state of emergency, war, front, suicide bombs, bloody siege, kosher, Jewish, risk, threat, surveillance, greatest risk, resources, dangerous, safe, agents, suspect, bomb-maker, terrorists, operatives, plots, support networks, targets, alert, aim, terrorism, etc.

  3. I went then directly to the current [not that which I’d recorded in order to pick out a lot of the words] news (after I had seen what I recorded, as I shared just above in the 11:41 post); “extremist Islamists,” “daesh,” “enemies” are what came forth right away, directly from the people on the show, not just quoting someone’s point of view.

    As to the China story, I will go ahead and answer what I was implying. No, we shouldn’t trust China when they say they killed 28 people in their country because those 28 were terrorists. Thus, it was fitting for the news person to point out they (China) said they were terrorists; to remind everyone that China saying so doesn’t make it true.

    What else did I see on that channel yesterday? There was a piece dedicated to recent events at UMC (Mizzou). It ended with the anchor lecturing minority youth to be more like he was when he was younger and take everything on the chin (not his wording): don’t expect the leaders to be able to take care of your concerns.

    I happen to know there are faculty members who retired in the past year there — earlier than they would have because they were unhappy with how the place was being run; oh, white faculty, by the way, and not over the subjects in the news. The leadership was less than competent. These were long-standing, excellent professors.

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