Friday, July 14, 2017

Yours, Zealously

The purpose of this blog is to let words fly while keeping elbows in check. Please forward / like / tweet or just print and share.

In memory of my father, whose 12th yahrzeit is next week, named "least likely to elbow his way" in his high school yearbook.
(OK, not really, but had they had such category, he would have surely won it.)

Alex Burmistrov fined for elbowing Jared SpurgeonSeveral friends have been in Israel this summer, and one just gave me this report:

On Shabbat we were walking to the Wall from Jaffa Gate, going down the main path that everyone goes down. At the bottom there is a security checkpoint that made everything bottled up. People were lining up to go through. I was really surprised to see these religious families pushing their way past everyone lined up. I guess they felt it was more important to them to get in than everyone else."

What's the take-home message?

So I sent the anecdote to a rabbi-list I'm a member of. I don't know how many rabbis are on the list, possibly hundreds. The responses were interesting.

Some pointed out that there really are two lines, because religious Jews don't have to go through the scanner on Shabbat, and they were simply following protocol. Therefore, they felt that the take-home lesson is to be dan l'chaf zechut - to judge favorably.

Others said that it's wrong even if it was right because it looks bad.

One responded:

We all know their are Jews who don't behave.  If those were my friends who witnessed that, I would explain to them that those people go every single day and are not tourists they have a tight schedule and security lets them right through. It's accepted practice for the regulars to rush through. They may have done it with too much sabra brutality but let it go. It's not right and they should know better but use this as an opportunity to give another Jew a pass.

For your table:

An opportunity to give another Jew a pass, to judge favorably?

Or an opportunity to look in our collective mirror and remind ourselves, "We have work to do, beginning with bein adam l'chaveiro*."?

*Interpersonal ethics.

And if you say, "work to do" - where do you begin?

Shabbat Shalom

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