Yirmiyahu Eighteen: Bad Prophet

After all of this doom and gloom over the previous chapters, I’m not particularly surprised that the people decide to rebel against the messenger. It’s easy to blame the one bringing news of things that we don’t want to hear, regardless of how true they may be, and the frustration of the people starts to boil over. “And they said, ‘Come, let us devise plots against Jeremiah, for the Torah shall not be lost from the priest, neither counsel from the wise man, nor speech from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not listen to all his words (Jeremiah 18:18).'” In all honesty, I completely get where the people are coming from in this case. When I hear people preaching doom and gloom about the future of the Jewish people, Jewish education, and particularly Jewish communal professionals, I’m inclined to want to turn down the noise because it so upsets me, rather than to engage with the perceived prophets. It’s a constant challenge to not dismiss these people, and to cling to a reality that feels comfortable for me. How do we engage with those who are speaking harshly about the future, while not giving into their fear-mongering, and instead work to prove them wrong?

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