Saturday, 4 January 2020

Middah K'Negged Middah - the Past as Prologoue

Originally published 11/10/09, 2:50 pm.

When Nikita Khrushchev was deposed in 1964, my 8th grade Rebbe remarks were something like this:
Just as Khrushchev disowned Stalin [circa 1956], so too, now he is being disowned. And they who disown Khrushchev will in turn be disowned in the future by the next generation.

How true. How prescient.

Lich'ora this is the simple P'shat in Avot 2:7 where Hillel comments on the floating skull.

Based upon this thinking, I have questioned radicals and revolutionaries who disown the past - because it will inevitably lead to themselves being disowned.

 I'm not saying that we cannot improve upon, or build upon the past. We need not be slavish to the past or live in the. Rather, we must honour and respect the positives it has provided us before we go and tweak it.

RSR Hirsch goes on to say on Breishis 9:24 [New edition p. 243]

"Just as they sneered at the memory of their forefathers, so will their descendants sneer at them. Cham is always the father of Canaan.

I think of the Abbe Hoffmans, or Ron Kubys, or even the Bolshevik's who sneered at what came before them. Yet their legacy is mainly going to cause the future to sneer back at them - Measure for Measure.

In a sense: those who scorn the past are condemned one day to themselves become the past and in turn be be scorned.


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