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The Presidential Debates

Do our preconceived notions prevent us from really listening?


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Published: October 28, 2012


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Visitor Comments: 26

(14) Anonymous, November 5, 2012 6:28 PM

Apology

Good afternoon Rabbi Salomon, this note is simply an apology. Nov 2, 2012, I sent a comment regarding your article about Presidential Debate. My comment was sent full of errors that I did no realized I was doing, and only because I was writing from my cell phone, within a very cold apartment with no heat, or electricity, or home phone. I still did not expressed everything I wanted to express, as was feeling cold. Now I realized all the mistakes I committed while writing and apologize for that. Thanks again for your interesting articles.

(13) Sanford Jay ("Sandy) & Chana Goodman, November 4, 2012 5:51 PM

The wisest decision that B’nai Yisroel made when receiving the Torah was na’aseh v’nishmah

Very rarely are adults totally objective when it comes to making decisions. That’s why most of those who heard the presidential debates (with some exceptions) will not change their minds. In life we often make faulty evaluations and render bad decisions because we are blinded by our own biases. At Mt. Sinai the wisest decision that B’nai Yisroel made when receiving the Torah from G-d was saying na’aseh v’nishmah for two reasons: First, they realized that this was being given to them by G-d, Who is omniscient and who would always does what is best for humanity, especially B’nai Yisroel. Second, B’nai Yisroel realized that if they had taken the time to evaluate the Torah, they might they might have rejected it for the wrong reasons due to human bias. Sanford Jay ("Sandy) & Chana Goodman, Dallas Texas

(12) Malka Kideckel, November 2, 2012 2:01 AM

Open minded

I think that when it comes to Presidential debates and voting for a President one belongs to a Party. Then they have to rationalise to themselves why the candidate will be a good President. First it was a black President and now, say he looses, were gonna hear about discrimination against Muslims. In any debate we must enter the arena with an open mind, ideally both sides with an open mind. But human nature is that we are biased and judgemental. The Torah talks about these [Middos] and asks to work on these character traits. LIterally for our own preservation.

(11) Cynthia, October 31, 2012 12:39 PM

ask Questions

If I suggest, no matter the topic, ask questions. I have found many times we really don't know what we believe. We need to speak aloud what we believe. Now we can claim what we just heard ourselves say. This may also cause us to question our own beliefs.

(10) Raisy, October 31, 2012 3:21 AM

I am subjective, I am biased

I don't agree that we 'hear what we want to hear'. I think, for myself, I need a premise upon which I judge the worthier candidate. As an observant Jew I was horrified with Obama's support for same-gender marriage, something I believe represents disregard for a long-held respect for the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our American governmental system. I respected was inspired by Romney's insistence that it is his faith in G-d that sustains his belief in America and its governance. I believe, and was taught, that belief in one G-d and good character and what count. My point is, it's not that people are not objective and have their opinions before hearing debates; the more significant question is: what are the factors that determine one's choice? Is it charm? Intelligence? Oratorical skills? Or is it character and belief in G-d. I frankly, at the risk of sounding intolerant, do not understand how any G-d fearing jew could vote for Obama and the liberal views he espouses.

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