last year. As we see the world crumbling around us, and our nation - led by an insufferable egotist - abandoning our values and standards, this piece lends a clue as to the "why" this may be happening:
Strong was the faith of those who stood here before us, while we are of a generation that has sought to dethrone you.
Many have said to the works of our hands: You are our gods! Strange, then, to see the emptiness in those who cast You out. Strange to see the agonies of our time grow more numerous and more intense, the more our worship centers on ourselves. Strange that men and women grow smaller without You, smaller without the faith that You are with them....
For You are with us whenever we seek you out. You are absent only when we shut you out, only when, full of ourselves, we leave no room for you within our hearts.
I added this commentary last year (because we Jews cannot simply take in the inner meaning of such well-worded thoughts, we must discuss them ad infinitum):
The left, with their incessant self-involved navel gazing, has declared themselves to be the new gods, with the government as their virtual temple, and we as humble sackcloth-wearing petitioners, awaiting direction. But the people grow weary of the high priests, as their nation writhes with greater pain with each passing day, despite the blithe assurances of the Temple-keepers.
Well, we will see, I suppose, as the opportunity to overturn the stone idol that is government is almost upon us. Will we return to the values that made us great, or cling to the small comfort of praying to the Washington monolith?
Can we seize this Yom Kippur, this day of repentance, and not simply ask forgiveness for the faults within ourselves, but act to rectify the greater moral failings plaguing our nation?
ask Jonah). And God always gives us a choice. And sometimes he even gives us fair warning.
Which he has, quite clearly. But we may have moved too far away to see it...