Let My People Know

"God is, by definition, right, but we are entitled to disagree"


"The desire for explanations is a very understandable human need.


We want to hear the truth, and we want to understand why and for what purpose a certain thing happened.


However, we also have another, simultaneous wish: we expect this truth to be easily understood.


These two wishes are, in most cases, mutually exclusive.


Our as­sumptions about our ability to understand are often quite presumptuous.


Often, when we do get an explanation, we are unable to understand it.


Our thinking process is not only heavily biased by our wishes and inclinations, but is inherently limited.


A full reply may be unpleasant to hear, and generally, far above our ability to comprehend.


That does not mean, however, that we ought not to question.


The prophet Jeremiah (12:1) says, 'You are righteous, 0 Lord, and I cannot disagree with You, yet let me talk with You of Your judgments.'


In other words, God is, by definition, right, but we are entitled to dis­agree, and even to express our disagreement.


If we are hurt, and suffer, we have a perfect right to cry out.


In­deed, if we pretend that it does not hurt, then we are liars.


In fact, the oldest ritual of Jewish national life, which is a few thousand years old, is the Seder night—the first night of the Passover festival.


That ritual begins to­day, as it did long ago, with children asking questions.


If they cannot ask on their own, somebody is supposed to teach them how to ask questions.


We are instructed to start out with questions.


Asking questions is not only per­missible, it is encouraged."

 –Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz


From Simple Words by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz