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Lidle Lessons

Lidle Lessons

Some dead people are more important than others.


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Some people are funny. Some are insightful. Some are cynical. Some find a humorous touch in everything. Others find irony. Some write beautifully. Few people do them all as well as Rabbi Yaakov Salomon does. Entertaining, inspiring, astute, he has the uncommon ability to look something to give us pause and make us think. His new book, Something to Think About , gives us just that -- with a healthy dose of wit and charm. Click here to order.

October 21, 2006

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Visitor Comments: 8

(8) Anonymous, November 2, 2006 2:49 PM

Something to really think about

I very much agree with Rafi's comment however I'd like to take it one step further.
Rabbi Salomon, we are all fascinated by celebrities; that's human nature. What disturbs me is the message you are trying to convey and the double standard that G-d fearing Jews seem to miss.
You say Judaism teaches us that all people are created in the same way and all people share equal importance. You ask why we can't learn this lesson before tragedy strikes and yet I don't see this happening when it comes to marrying off your children. Do the Rabbi's advise the boys in their Yeshivas that everyone is created equal, that everyone shares equal importance or do they suggest finding a girl who's father can support them indefinitely? Do parents look at the individual or are they caught up in the superficial things that will allow them to brag about the "great shidduch" they made? The tragedy is seeing wonderful girls from wonderful homes sitting around waiting for a phone call because today's society seems to practice that in fact people are not created equal and sadly that it appears that they don't share equal importance.
If you ask me that's something to think about.

(7) Joey, October 28, 2006 1:06 PM

Some people have written that it is unrealistic to be equally sad over all people, and of course it's true---if, for example, a family member died in a plane crash, we would mourn for them than the person sitting next to them who died on the plane; so too with a famous person we admire. But I think the point is to keep in mind that in God's eye, every person is a precious child. We should keep in mind that anyone who dies---in a plane crash or whatever---had a family, friends, and loved ones, who are affected just as much or more by their death than we are by the death of whomever we look up to or love. And just because a certain reaction is more natural---to care more about a famous person's death than a "normal" person---doesn't make that reaction more right.

God bless.

(6) Margarita, October 27, 2006 7:41 PM

hard to disagree

it's hard to disagree with you, it's so hard to change yourself. just one comment to Rafi: you are right, that's the idea, we should try to change, we should start with ourselves and not look at other people (monkey see - monkey do style).

(5) RafiG, October 26, 2006 2:15 AM

agree with message but..

The point of your message is right on the money. We are all created in the image of God and everybody has importance and no one person is more than the next. When two people die in a plane crash, both deaths are tragic, not just the death of the baseball player or musician or politician.

However, are you being honest with yourself and with Judaism? if a great Rebbe would die in a plane crash chas v'shalom, would we not feel shock and tragedy more than a simple person (realistically speaking, not theoretically) meeting his fate in the same plane crash? Honestly.

And you know what? i do not think there is anything wrong with that. The Rebbe might have affected us and touched on our lives (even indirectly) and the loss of the Rebbe is tragic in a way the loss of the steward on the plane or the anonymous guy sitting behind the Rebbe is not. We might feel the loss more because of our relationship with him. The death of the anonymous guy is no less tragic but on a personal level one person was familiar to us and one was not so we naturally feel the loss of one greater than the loss of the other.

I am sure in the second guys community (and that is probably true in the case of the pilot flying with Lidle and all the other examples you used) they lament the loss of their friend, supporter, relative as much as we lament the loss of the personality.

(4) Daniela, October 23, 2006 8:43 PM

This all sounds nice but...

It's really quite an unrealistic view. The reason why we have a reaction of "caring" when we hear of famous people dying, the reason why they make headlines, is because whether we're fans of these people or not, we feel like we know them. We would indeed have the same reaction to hearing about the death of a neighbor from down the street. We've heard of them, so we feel like we know them, or at least that we're aquainted with them. Just like a friend (if you're a fan of the celebrity) or a neighbor you chat with once in a while. If everyone knew each other the way we become familiar with celebrities, we'd all have the same sadness and all names of crash victims would make the news. But we don't. It's only news because their fame makes them familiar to us. Let's be fair. This is not the thing that makes our culture callous. There's plenty else that does that.

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