Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The One-God Revelation

Melachim B (Kings II) 5:15: The Prophet Elisha cures Naaman, the Goy (Gentile) Aramean general, of Tzaraat (skin disease.) Naaman proclaims, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except Israel.” Why did the Aramean King experience a one-God revelation when many far more amazing miracles performed by Eliyahu and Elisha failed to convince Israel?  It seems that Naaman was a, “pure,” idolator in that he believed each god had a specific power (god of rain, god of the sun, etc.) and so too each prophet of each god had only that specific power.  When Elisha cured Naaman of Tzaraat, which he thought was outside the purview of the God of Israel, it completely shattered his worldview and he was able to immediately accept his error and modify his entire way of thinking.  The Israelis of the time, however, believed that their God was quite powerful and versatile, but that on occasion it was quicker, easier, and cheaper to go to other gods for their day-to-day needs.  It was this mixture of Jewish and pagan belief that proved much harder to do teshuvah (repentance) from than pure idolatry.


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