Josephs’s MisfortuneBy Joseph Rabinowitz
The misfortune of my people has always been on my heart. I have also tried various remedies to relieve it, but all has been in vain.
When a doctor comes to a patient, he first has to question the patient closely before he can prescribe a remedy for the disease. He feels the pulse, presses here and there, asking all the time, "Does it hurt here?" "Is there pressure there?" "Have you pain here?" But not until the doctor touches the tender spot, does a really clear answer come from the patient. The pain squeezes the words from him, "Don't press so hard, it hurts!"
That was my experience when I concerned myself with my people's sufferings. I have in vain pressed various places. As I was not striking the tender spot, there was hardly any answer.
If I said, "The Talmud and all the rabbinical extraneous matter do not come, as is claimed, from Sinai, but they are human matters full of wisdom and unwisdom," then these words made little impression upon my people.
If I said, "Nor does the Tanakh (the Old Testament) contain anything other than human words, unproven stories, and unbelievable miracles," then all the time I remained the respected Rabinowitz; that did not cause my people any pain either.
My people remained calm when I placed Moses on an equal footing with the conjurors of our day; it did not hurt them when I called the same Moses an impostor. Indeed, I might even deny God without my people uttering a single sound of pain.
But when I returned from the Holy Land with the glad news: Jesus is our brother, then I struck the tender spot. A scream of pain could be heard and resounded from all sides, "Do not press, do not touch that, it hurts!"
Well, it does hurt: But you must know, my people, that that is indeed your illness; you lack nothing but your brother Jesus. Your illness consists precisely in your not having him. Receive him and you will be healed of all your sufferings.