Saturday, November 11, 2006

When the evil prosper (Avot 1:7)

נתאי הארבלי אומר הרחק משכן רע. ואל תתחבר לרשע. ואל תתיאש מן הפורענות

Natai of Arbeil says, distance yourself from an evil neighbor. And don’t ally yourself with an evil person. And don’t despair of punishment.
One of the greatest challenges to our faith in God is to see the evil prosper. Our Mishnah instructs us to be patient: Don’t despair if you don’t see the evil punished. Have faith that their time will come.

The Mishnah also instructs us to focus on the things that we can control. We cannot make justice for the entire world. But we can fight evil in our own corner of it. We can refuse to ally ourselves with evil people. We can distance ourselves from them.

If all of us were to find the strength not to despair in the face of the evil prospering, and the strength to distance ourselves from evil people – even when we think that being in alliance with them might be to our gain – then the world, corner-by-corner, would become a place where evil could find no purchase.

May your corner of the world be a place of peace and justice, today.

No comments: