Don’t Shy Away from Asking God to Pour Out His Wrath

April 22, 2016 | David Wolpe
About the author: David Wolpe is rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and the author of, among other books, Why Be Jewish? and Why Faith Matters. He can be found on Twitter @RabbiWolpe.

In what might be the Haggadah’s least-politically-correct component, the door to the house is opened to welcome Elijah the prophet and a series of verses are read that begin with the line, “Pour at Your wrath on the nations who know You not.” David Wolpe explains why this passage ought not be skipped over, even if it sits uncomfortably with modern sensibilities:

First, we owe a legacy of anger to the past. The Jews who suffered for generations deserve our indignation for everything they endured. Our own good fortune does not cancel their anguish, and their right to the anger that we express on their behalf. . . .

Second, Judaism has always recognized that evil in the world must not only be reasoned with, but fought. The reality principle applies: sometimes wrath and rifles are more potent tools for peace than optimism and prayer.

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