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  • Torah Reading: Naso
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Just Breathe: How to Create a More Accepting World

Imagine a world where everyone really felt they were equal.

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 12

(10) Wayne, October 24, 2013 2:39 AM

bad idea!

So we should prise people for trying, even when they do it wrong and fail? Isn't that what we do when we give every little leaguer a trophy, whether they hit the ball or didn't?

Everyone ISN'T equal. Should we don utopian colored glasses and pretend they are? Cain and Abel weren't equal. Jacob and Esau weren't equal-- and they were twins! King Saul and King David weren't equal, thank HaShem. And certainly Elijah and the prophets of Ba'al weren't equal. And by the way, are the Orthodox men in Israel going to accept the Women of the Wall as their equals? Should they?

Joey, December 21, 2013 1:11 AM

I think you're confusing the issue. To say that all people are equal is not to claim that everyone is equal in every single way, as in the Little Leaguer example; nor is to say that every decision someone could make is equal, as your Biblical examples imply. But to claim that some people are just better, for no reason, is to invite hatred between people. We can share each other's strengths only if we accept that we are, to begin, on the same level.

God bless!

(9) seena, October 23, 2013 9:38 PM

This rabbi is SO RIGHT ON THE MARK! His ideals are real. his message universal. His commentary, so accessible. Please, Come to Bala Cynwyd, (Aish Philly) to speak. This community really needs your message!

(8) Amos Boy, October 22, 2013 8:44 PM

Some things a civilized society must judge

The reason that everyone was there in the AA meeting in the first place was they finally saw what society already told them... that their bad habit was destructive. That realization motivated them to improve and change. They could be non-judgmental within the group because they already knew from experience that the judgment of the outside world was right.

In some ways, they were escaping the judgment of the outside world. In other ways, they were empowered by it.

susannah garbutt, October 23, 2013 1:33 PM

judgement of outside world not right

I strongly disagree with Amos Boy where he has written that the judgement of the outside world is right - wrong. The outside world can be extremely harsh on disabled people, different people etc.
You need a supportive and kind person in your life and friends to help keep your self esteem up in a society where as Rabbi Sytner says we may be judged harshly - due to the multitude of prejudices that are out there. Western society has come to the point where people will undergo surgery and a general anaesthetic , for cosmetic reasons (I am not talking about restorative cosmetic surgery as in the case of mastectomy, burns and so forth) so they can keep their line of work which may be heavily weighted towards maintaining a youthful appearance in our television and film era. To remain sane, I can't watch too much TV. Families are great because no matter what or how old a member becomes, they are still part of a group and one is nearly always accepted in this group. And those who do not have families may create their own group as a haven and refuge against the harsh outside world. I think that deep down we know that we are no better a person than anyone else despite what we think on a superficial level and it is when the chips are down for us, that we come to that place where relationships with people and the world are based on the true reality of life, and judgements and prejudices and differences count for nothing. This level is where I believe the true reality is. It's when we have been through the fire together that we form such powerful bonds. And I don't know that the outside world would understand that. Shalom

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