Monday the 2nd of May 2011 was a historical day in world events: Osama bin Laden had allegedly been killed by a team of US Navy SEALS in Abbottabad Pakistan. After getting over the excitement & jubilation of this long awaited news, many had started to wonder where Osama's body was and what would or had happened to it, the headlines that followed were quick to announce that “Osama's Body Buried At Sea” .
If we search beyond the headlines Osama Bin Laden's final resting place was Divine "Measure for Measure". Osama bin Laden lived to destroy, kill, taunt and incite fear around the world. Inevitably, “the brimming sea destroys, kills, conquers" thus as in life so in death, Osama was cast to drown in the depth of the sea to eternity.
To quote Micah:
"The "depths of the sea" refers to the verse, "He will return, He will have mercy on us; He will conquer our iniquities and cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:19)
The phrase "the shadow of depth" refers (among others) to the verse, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; Your rod and Your staff comfort me." (Psalms 23:4)
God granted man control of the wheel that sealed or opened the dam.
At the time of its creation, our newborn world contained no true evil.
There were "external forces" which are presently evil, yet at that pure point they were simply neutral. Our sages compare these forces to "a guard in the courtyard" and "a shell that protects the fruit within." Like an ocean that surrounds a continent and provides a natural defense.
The "external forces" also acted as a butler who serves and arranges; the Snake in Genesis has been described as "a great attendant," much like a sea carries cargo from port to port. The Midrash relates that the snake used to have two characteristics that elevated it above all other creatures, in order for it to attend to mankind: It walked upright on legs and had the power of speech. (When it failed in its function, it lost these two advantages, becoming the creature with no legs at all, nor can it speak, roar or bellow--just hiss.) Death, suffering, hatred and hardship did not exist to shape existence as it does nowadays.
Man changed all that. He activated the destructive potential that transformed the external forces into the evil forces. The floods of evil, the tides of misfortune, had been restrained by the command of God: Do not eat from that tree! With but one divine commandment God granted man control of the wheel that sealed or opened the dam. He was told not to open it, lest death and destruction rush into the world. Man had but this one solitary wall with which to protect himself and his future generations; his wall was his obedience to the command of God.
Yet this wall proved inadequate. Man did not built his obedience strong or high enough. His loyalty was compromised, his defense was lacking. No sooner did the forbidden fruit slide down his palate, when the levee tumbled down on the world. It was like inviting a rock band into the contemplation of a library, or inviting hordes of terrorists to live in your land.
Evil instantly swamped and overwhelmed the planet. Pain and grief invaded the very character of life itself. The solitary wall had been breached by the two lone humans on earth.
This empowerment of evil is analogous to a slave who rebels and enslaves his master. Or as the mast of a ship that was designed to hold its sails; yet should the mast snap and fall sideways, it will capsize the very ship it was made to support.
The slow process of draining the waters of evil and constructing a new and unshakable barrier that will return the ocean to its location and innocence has fallen to the descendants of that first couple. But this time, God has not given us the luxury of a single commandment; that has proven too risky.
Instead, we must place load after load of "sandbags" into the gap. We have Seven Universal Commandments to combat the invasion and to restore our dwellings. Every goodly act causes the ocean to recede.
Our tractors and helicopters have been active for generations, and the barrier is almost restored. Yet at times we may wonder: We've piled countless divine commandments into the breach, yet the breach still exists. If this vast amount of material has not done the job, my dropping another deed or two will certainly not have any effect! Why bother?
The truth is, however, that if we already have so many bags in position, then we only need a few more to complete the task. These last deeds are the ones that'll stop the flood.
Mankind has no reason to despair of ridding the world of polluted waters. Those many years of effort will be crowned with our positive actions and usher in the Messianic era . Then the "external forces" will once again become a "guard for our homes," for our universe. "There will be peace in your wall (and therefore) tranquility in your buildings" (Psalms 122:7). The very potential for evil and hurt will be forever purged from our lives, "And the spirit of impurity I shall remove from the earth" (Zachariah 13:2).
In its place, "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the ocean bed" (Isaiah 11:9). [By Yaakov Paley]