Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sophisticated Jokes

One of the biggest obstacles in the search for truth is other people, especially those who make fun of religion with 'sophisticated' jokes. They are under the spell of philosophical speculation and other current ideas. The damage they cause is quite obvious. They have the power to corrupt people completely, G-d forbid. What is even more insidious is the sharp wit of people who give the appearance of being respectable and well meaning, but who have a way of turning all kinds of religious matters into a joke. Many people are deterred from true religion because of this. At least where the blatant mockery of the philosophers is concerned most people have the sense to be wary and keep away, knowing as they do that philosophy has the power to deprive you of both worlds, this one and the next, and to throw you down into the lowest pit of hell, G-d forbid. But the 'wit and wisdom' of those who give the impression of being decent and religious can be more dangerous because their words possess a certain aura of truth. Travel the path of purity and you will walk in trust. Keep well away from this crowd and pay no attention to their humor and wise ideas. Walk with simplicity and purity along the ancient path of our forefathers.

(Rabbi Nachman of Breslov)