Saturday, May 06, 2006

Goodness and free will

Re the discussions at CCU prayer group.

The goat for Azazel is really like throwing a dog a bone. While evil (analogous to a vicious dog) is busy gnawing away at his bone and celebrating his victory over us, we slip by him to enter the private chamber of the King and get forgiveness and atonement.

In other words, this offering to Azazel is Israel's gift of acknowledgement and appreciation to the forces of evil. The forces of evil mistakenly think this means that Israel has submitted to evil and has surrendered to a life of sin. However, this is not the case. This is all really a clever ploy to divert evil's attention. This gift actually expresses Israel's surrender to G-d and shows appreciation for the challenge evil provides which is necessary for there to be any loving service of G-d at all.

When the high priest sends an offering to Azazel he demonstrates on behalf of Israel that we accept that service and love of G-d is possible only because evil and rebellion against G-d is possible. On the Day of Atonement, Israel acknowledges and appreciates how the temptations of evil, sin and selfishness are really part of achieving love and selfless service to G-d.

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