I get the feeling G‑d is real angry with us, don't you? How else can you explain all that's happening in Israel? One rabbi told me that G‑d stores all the sins of the Jewish People and when they pile up too high, He unleashes His wrath against us.

I'm just not sure what it is He's angry about. Sometimes I think it's because we haven't stood up for our own rights and asserted our rightful claim to this precious gift, the Land of Israel. Or maybe it's because of all the bad talk and in-fighting that goes on. Jews just don't love each other enough. What do you think?


I think if that's what G‑d is all about — angry, counting up sins, punishing His children — I'm signing out.

But it's not. In all the words of the prophets and in the teachings of our sages, our G‑d is a compassionate G‑d who loves each Jew, even the worst sinner, as His only child. Who sees the heart and the suffering and trials of each one of us and understands and judges accordingly. Who knows what we have suffered, the fire and hell we have been through only because we are His people and will not let Him go. Who cries over every spilled drop of Jewish blood and provides miracles to save us at every turn.

Is this the worst sin of humanity, that we want to live in peace with our neighbors and overestimate their potential to act as decent human beings? That we are sick of war and grasp at any useless straw to save ourselves from it?

If you had a child, an only child, who was too much of a wimp, would you smack him in the face and watch him fall to the ground? Or would you pick him up, build his confidence and his courage and let the whole world know: "This is my child. Don't any of you dare lay a hand on him!"

Over and over, the Lubavitcher Rebbe taught us that instead of finding faults with our own people and psychoanalyzing G‑d, we need to do as Moses did in such a situation. To go back to G‑d and say, "Why have you done evil to this people? Why have you not redeemed them?" Why do you let Your holy name be so disgraced in the world? How long can this go on for?

This is truly the entire purpose of the Jewish People upon the earth — to channel the flow of life from above, as a farmer plows his field and digs troughs to channel the rain that falls from above. "Evil does not descend from heaven," said the prophet Jeremiah. All that G‑d desires is good. Only that, without our intercession, the flow from above is too powerful and overwhelms our world. Like a hard downpour on an untilled field. So He awaits our prayers to direct that flow of life towards good.

The Jewish people, yourself included and especially those who live in the Land of Israel, are an amazing people, each one of them. I am a proud brother of all of them. If they slip up once in a while, or behave in a way not fitting for a child of the Torah, that is only because G‑d has withheld His goodness from them for too long. That is the attitude that will redeem us.

Yes, there are rabbis who talk about G‑d's wrath. They believe they can better the Jewish people by pointing out their faults and scaring them with warnings of Divine retribution, as the prophets did. The Rebbe spoke once directly about this attitude. He said there was a prophet named Isaiah who loved every Jew. Because you have to love every Jew to be a prophet. But when G‑d first told him to prophesy, he answered, "How can I? I live among a people of impure lips." And for that he was punished. An angel was sent with hot coals to place on his lips. Because he had insulted G‑d's people.

And this was a prophet — not some rabbi guessing G‑d's intentions. And a prophet who loved his people, who simply was telling the truth to explain his predicament with no ill intentions. And what was he being sent for, after all, but to rebuke his people!

But if there is one thing our G‑d disdains, it is those who bad-talk His kids. And if there is one thing He loves, it is when we love each other and praise all that is good about one other.

As for why all this mess has to happen as it is happening right now — I'll tell you what Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, had to say concerning the holocaust: "I haven't the slightest motivation to find excuses for G‑d." Same here. Better I should spend my time finding excuses for His people.