Q&A: Prophet of Doom?

Q: Recently I have been hearing that there are righteous individuals who say that many severe judgments (God forbid) are going to be unleashed on Israel. Is this true?

A: The sages teach that one should not utter harsh words about future events. True tzaddikim work solely to sweeten harsh judgments. Those who rebuke Israel with warnings of harsh judgments may actually bring the harsh judgments upon Israel, God forbid. (Even the true prophets of Israel spoke only the explicit words of God, given to them directly from Heaven. These words of God are “sweet” in essence, for God is essentially good and merciful. Even a true prophet may not speak words in the name of God given to another prophet.)

Thus, the Ba’al Shem Tov rejected the method of rebuke and worked to bring down sweetness and mercy to all of Israel. The Ba’al Shem Tov also taught that in a person’s service of God, he should avoid evil specifically by doing good deeds.

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