God's Promises

Has God failed us? I have read repeatedly where God promised the Jews to be a great nation, yet today Israel is struggling for survival, and Jews in the Diaspora are assimilating in record numbers. I don't understand and my faith is faltering. Please explain.

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

God made a covenant with Abraham, and that pact is not able to be broken. However, God assures us that our ability to flourish, or conversely to suffer, depends on how well we fulfill our end of the bargain: which is to observe the mitzvot and be a holy people that inspires the world to recognize God's existence and dominion over all.

Even in the darkest times, God is with us. But that in itself is a test of our connection to Him, to be able to see His guiding hand even within the darkness. In Deuteronomy 31:16-18, God says that if the Jewish people rebel, "I will hide My face from them."

That is the test. A Holocaust survivor said it like this:

"The quintessential element that distinguishes this event (the Holocaust) was the search for God. Every Jew who remained in the ghettos and the camps remembers 'the God Syndrome' that shrouded everything else. From morning till night we cried out for a sign that God was still with us... We sought Him, but we did not find Him. We were always accompanied by the crushing and unsettling feeling that God had disappeared from our midst." (Machshavot Magazine, Vol. 46)

So no, God has not failed us. He is waiting for us to come back to Him, so that we can get on with our job of leading the world back to sanity. We need to do our part - be faithful to the Torah, and find solutions to the problems that confront us. Aish HaTorah was created to respond to the key issues facing the Jewish people.

When you feel unclear about that, pray to God for... clarity!

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