Thursday, March 5, 2020

March 2, 2020: Satanism In Simple Terms

We see it from the beginning of Creation. 
In fact - Creation itself is called a "shattering of the vessels" in Jewish mysticism.
What was perfectly spiritual, explodes into matter.
It is in the resulting void that God creates a material world.
Materiality is one level, the lowest level, of existence. 
In materiality, God creates man and wife, and He tells them to take anything EXCEPT that apple off that particular tree, "lest ye shall die."
But the snake says to Eve, listen to a friend. God is just afraid of you, because if you eat that apple, you will know as much as Him.
There - and then - you see the first manifestation of satanism. 
You know what happens when you drop a glass, the little pieces go everywhere? Our job as people is to pick up the little pieces of glass, and reassemble the glass. 
Imagine holiness.
In this world, holiness is largely hidden.
We have to use our powers of discernment to find what is good within this shattered world.
When Adam and Eve ate the apple, they became mortal. "Lest ye shall die," 
At that point, they could have taken the retirement package inside the Garden of Eden, and lived out their days. As failures. 
That is what Adam wanted to do. 
But Eve* said no. 
They had messed up, it was true.
But they would spend their lives starting over.
And set the stage for millennia of humanity, fighting and striving, with a few people trying to make things right. 
All of the Bible is this. 
God is kind of like the producer of a soap opera.
The bad family is always scheming.
The good family is always running into the bad family in town.
Sometimes they intermarry. 
The point is that the word "Satanist" is only a catch-all for people who listen to the snake.
Now, if we continue the soap opera analogy...the ratings quickly go down if things become predictable. 
Therefore, God is constantly throwing in another "spicy" element. 
Dancing girls at Midianite parties.
Gladiator chic.
But even those things couldn't compete with one event. 
Yes, the giving of the Torah.
Everybody tuned in.
And when the Jews were doing what they were supposed to do, God made them win and nobody else's TV show had a chance.
Basically the devil had to figure out a way to get the Jews off their God game. 
Satan had an endless budget to play with - because God wanted the ratings on HIS show to be a real choice.
God had to take the chance that the bad guys would start to seem sympathetic.
And God's plan—to allow people to have a real choice, by allowing Satan to confuse and muddle good and evil—worked very well.
Some would say, too well. 
Every time the Jews would get back to Him, someone—a corrupt king, crafty neighbors—would muck it up.
When the Jews rebounded from persecution and went back to studying Torah, in great yeshivas, opposition welled up again — this time, from within.
Now the Jews were torn apart from within—brother against brother.
A few Jews stepped back and watched all the other Jews try to produce TV shows.
They didn't much care who got the most ratings—because they had a stake in every single one. 
The only thing they DIDN'T want was for the TV competition to stop; for the soap opera of fighting to grind to a halt. 
And when the people showed signs of simply wanting the TV off, they cranked into higher gear than ever.
Now you have a sense of the devil we're up against. 
We can take this monster down—doing so is the point of Creation—but as we do so, let's recognize how very big our collective task actually is.
Don't worry.

*Sermon by Rabbi Manis Friedman.

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author's own. Public domain.