When lack of knowledge is good

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Merav Sever writes the following about this week’s Torah portion — about our lives:
“If they would have told us during the month of Adar a year ago that nearly 12 months later we would be in a lockdown, we would have despaired.
If my customers had known during the first lockdown that there would be a second and a third, they would have sunk into a deep depression. They would not have ordered merchandise and would have closed down their businesses at once. They would have stopped fighting and thrown up their hands.
If moms had known on the first of September when the school year began that up until report cards were given at the end of the semester there would be hardly any classroom learning, they would have snapped, been filled with rage, and lost control.
If I had known at the age of 20 that up until now I would remain single, I would not have prayed and I would not have had much hope or desire for living. I would not have gone to work and probably would have fallen by the wayside.
If the nation of Israel had known that two hundred years of slavery in Egypt would precede the Exodus we read about in this week’s Torah portion, perhaps they would have completely assimilated, having lost their identity and their hope.
What gives us room to breathe, to desire, to believe, to be patient, to be brave, to initiate, to heal — is lack of knowledge. And that’s what gives us hope. Perhaps the next moment a solution will arrive. Perhaps a breakthrough will come. Perhaps we will soon be redeemed.
But true redemption will come when we agree not to take control by force, when we recognize we do not know everything, and when we just loosen our grip. True redemption of our souls will come not from the desire to ask when, but rather from living, growing, doing good, and waiting. ‘And even if he (the Messiah) may tarry, I will anticipate his arrival every day.'”

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