Netivot Shalom on the Pedophile Crisis

Netivot Shalom on the Pedophile Crisis

Over the past few weeks, I have been feeling like Hashem has been guiding me through this whole pedophile crisis maze by sending me to exactly the books and classes and people to tell me the things I need to hear right now…

And then this morning my dear chavruta Efrat and I cracked open our Netivot Shalom on Parshat Noach, and were quite blown away to see that once again, it seems, Hashem was speaking directly to us and the reality of Nachlaot 2011.

The Netivot Shalom provides advice for people surrounded by evil and perversity and violence, just like the generation of the flood (and just like us Nachlaoters today).

The Netivot Shalom instructs a person in such a Flood/Nachlaot-like situation to save him or herself by taking refuge in an Ark, just like Noah.

So what is our ark today? The ark, the Netivot Shalom explains, is several things:

The ark is Shabbat. So we must take refuge in the holiness and light-filled reality of Shabbat, “and through its strength every Jew will be saved from all situations similar to the generation of the flood.”

The ark is the Torah. So we must learn Torah with extra love and passion. This Torah learning will be “a corner of purity protected from all of the corruption, where a Jew can be elevated to Hashem.”

The ark is Jewish unity. When good people come together with love and acts of kindness for one another “good things are born… The fact that good people are united strengthens the force of good.”

Finally, the ark is the “Kusta D’Chayuta.” I tried to look up the meaning of this phrase, and instead of the two-word definition I expected, I discovered an entire article written in an attempt to define this deep Kabbalistic concept. “Kusta d’Chayuta,” it seems, means filling ourselves with faith and accepting our heartbreak over the world’s brokenness and maintaining hope for redemption, despite the darkness so thick all around us that we think the light will never be able to break through ever again.

In other words, when evil comes knocking, all I want to do is hide like a turtle pulling himself inside his shell.

But the Jewish response to darkness is to fill myself and the world with as much light as I am able– the light of Shabbat, the light of Torah, the light of Jewish unity and acts of kindness, the light of faith and hope.

Photo courtesy of Ora Wiberg

One comment

  1. It seems kusta dechayuta is translated as “גרעין חיות”, which doesn’t have a good translation into English, because language reflects the culture it serves…but is probably most similar to “life force”.

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