The Rabbis claim that there were three advisors
to Pharaoh when he had to take the
whether to accept or not the request
to let the people go. They were Jethro,
and Job - familiar names to anyone
the Scriptures. Jethro advocated sparing
the people. He spoke valiantly in favor
Moses' request. He cared even at the
of his own life. Later he is forced
because his advice is sneered upon.
he was found worthy to have a lot of
descendants. Intense love does not
it just gives, Mother Teresa would
Balaam took the opposite stand. He
the killing of all Jews. "Evil
arrogant spirit, and greedy soul"
his lot. There was no room in his world
for others. We find out later that
Job remained silent. He was indifferent
the outcome of the Jews - this was
problem and he did not want to get
A very minimalistic definition of good,
whether we want it or not, we belong
other. In front of the pain of others
cannot opt for prudence. We must act.
Weisel is a concentration camp survivor.
He rightly claims that when the well
of a community is at stake, neutrality
unacceptable. Later Job experienced
suffering and the Jews claim that this
the result of this lack of concern.
is always a cry against indifference.
The Midrash recounts another provocative
story. When at the passage of the Red
the children of Israel are saved at
moment while their oppressors are drowned
before their eyes, the angels themselves
began to sing in heaven. However God
this singing, saying "What has
over you? My creatures are drowning
sea and you are singing? How can you
me with your hymns at a time when human
are dying?" Compassion is the
No to indifference. Yes to compassion.
a very cold day in New York, a ten
boy was standing outside a shoe store
through the window, shivering with
His boots were all broken up. A lady
the boy and asked, "My little
why are you looking so earnestly in
window?" "I was asking God
me a pair of shoes," was the boy's
The lady took him by the hand and went
the store. They went together to the
room and there she knelt down and washed
the feet of the little boy. She bought
a dozen pair of socks and placed socks
his feet. Then she let the boy try
shoes until they found one that fitted
- the right size.
Tying up the remaining pairs of socks,
women gave the pair of shoes and the
to the boy. She patted him on the head
said, "No doubt, my little fellow,
feel more comfortable now!"
As she turned to go, the astonished
her by the hand, and looking up in
just blurted, "Are you God's wife?"
Perhaps we need more 'wives of God' in life!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
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that the content is unaltered from
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