Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who made the world and "Shevlin Park in Bend Oregon"

"A disbeliever once asked the famous Rabbi Akiva, 'Who created the world?' 'The Almighty,' replied Rabbi Akiva. 'Prove it,' demanded the disbeliever. Rabbi Akiva replied, 'Come back tomorrow.'

"When the man returned on the following day, Rabbi Akiva asked him, 'What are you wearing?' 'A robe,' replied the man. 'Who made it?' asked Rabbi Akiva. 'The weaver,' said the man. 'I don't believe you! Prove it,' demanded Rabbi Akiva.

" 'That is ridiculous. Can't you tell from the fabric and design that a weaver made this garment?' answered the man. Rabbi Akiva then responded, 'And you - can you not clearly tell that God made the world?'

"After the disbeliever left, Rabbi Akiva explained to his students, 'Just as a house was obviously built by a builder and a garment obviously sewn by a tailor, so was the world (which follows a natural order) obviously made by a Creator!' "

A second example

"The Emperor Hadrian asked Rabbi Yehoshua, 'Does the world have a master?' 'Certainly,' replied Rabbi Yehoshua. 'Did you think the world exists without an owner?'

" 'Who then is the master?' asked Hadrian. 'The Almighty is the Creator of heaven and earth,' responded Rabbi Yehoshua. Hadrian persisted, 'If this is true, why doesn't He reveal Himself a few times a year so that people should fear Him?'

" 'That would be impossible,' replied Rabbi Yehoshua, 'for it says (Exodus 33:20), "No man can see Me and live." ' 'I don't believe that!' responded Hadrian angrily. 'No one can be so great that it is impossible even to look at him.' Rabbi Yehoshua left.

"Later, at noontime, Rabbi Yehoshua returned and asked the Emperor to step outside. 'I am ready to show you the Almighty!' he announced. Curious, Hadrian followed him to the palace garden.

" 'Look straight up into the sun. There you will discover God!' exclaimed Rabbi Yehoshua. 'What?' retorted Hadrian, bewildered. 'Do you know what you are saying? Everyone knows that it is impossible to look directly into the sun at noon!'

"Rabbi Yehoshua smiled. 'Note your own statement! You admit that no one can gaze at the sun's full strength when it is at its zenith. The sun is only one of the Almighty's servants, and its glory is only one millionth of a fraction of God's splendor. How then do you expect people to be able to look at Him? Yet, He promised that the day will come when He alone will be exalted and His greatness be accepted by all!' "

It is fascinating finding thousands of years old eternal answers to eternal questions. It is also fascinating to note that in the first midrash it says, "After the disbeliever left..." We note from this that in spite of the compelling answer, the man still left a disbeliever. Winston Churchill once said to the effect of "Many people have stumbled across truth ... and then picked themselves up as if nothing happened." It is hard to get past our preconceived notions and prejudices, no matter how intellectually honest we claim to be.

Love Yehuda

As a further example--here is some beauty of the world in my last months trip to Oregon--almost done with my videos.

Beautiful City Park that leads up to waterful for City water and fishing POnd