|Aboriginal and Military men on Australia day on a navy ship|
In addition, my core team at Together For Humanity is growing to 6. It was not that long ago when it was just 2 or 3. In the course of our work we deal with a range of people including genuine committed people who ‘get it’ and the insincere or misguided who present obstacles to meaningful conversations about contentious issues or our work more generally. I need to lead this team through all of this ambiguity to get results for students, stakeholders and governments, all with their own sometimes conflicting interests, beliefs and needs.
- This often quoted Jewish teaching appears to be based on Proverbs 21:1 states: “A king's heart is like rivulets of water in the Lord's hand; wherever He wishes, He turns it. The book of Ezra 6:22 it states: And they celebrated the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy, for the Lord made them joyful and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to strengthen their hands in the work of the House of God, the God of Israel. Rashi’s commentary on Ezra 6:22 makes clear that it is God who turned the heart of the King of Assyria. Ibn Ezra’s commentary on the verse is less clear. He points out that Assyria had previously destroyed the land of Israel, but now his heart was turned from his evil thoughts to good and this is the reason to strengthen their hands. It is not clear if Ibn Ezra agrees with Rashi that it is God who turned the hearts or with Sadiaa Gaon in note 7 that kings turn their own hearts. I found some of these references at http://forum.otzar.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=992
- See the work of Donald Schon who sees reality as inherently uncertain and complex. http://infed.org/mobi/donald-schon-learning-reflection-change/
- Harold Kushner in When Bad Things Happen to Good People.
- Exodus 7:3
- Ralbag, on Proverbs 21:1,
אילו היה פועל המלך מסור בליבו לאלו העינינים בשלמות כדרך המסור לבחירתו פעולותיו לעצמו, היה זה העניין סכנה נפלאה (= חמורה) אל העם אשר תחת המלך ההוא" וכו'
- Abarbanel on Exodus 7:3
- Abarbanel, see also Rabbi Saadia Gaon who characterised the idea that there is some kind of supernatural divine planting of thoughts in the hearts of kings is an exaggeration, instead it is the king himself who turns his own heart as he desires, in Emunot Vdeot, Maamar 4, close to the end.
- Shemot Rabba, 13:4- cited in Torah Shlaima, on Exodus 10:1, parshat Bo, page 1, Rashi on Exodus 7:3, Maimonides, introduction to Pirkey Avot, chapter 8. This formulation is articulated as being withheld from repentance, although this concept is also explained psychologically by Ohr HaAfelia, (Torah Shlaima, on Exodus 10:1, parshat Bo, page 2- in note 2 from previous page) that being entrenched in a particular sin is itself the active factor in being withheld from repertance.