Our sages used a folk saying to explain how great disasters might befall a nation:
“When the shepherd is angry with the flock, he blinds the eyes of the leading ewe”- – and woe to the nation whose leaders are blind.
This holds true always, for even in times of peace and prosperity it is necessary to assess the situation, to warn of dangers to come, to see what lies far off.
But it is especially critical in times that call for soul-searching, when there is a need for a fundamental reexamination of our lives, when the very roots of existing reality must be explored.
When a review of the most fundamental values is called for- -not simply an accounting of the immediate present, based on existing assumptions .
It is essential that the eyes of the community see far ahead, with penetrating insight.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz