An Entire World

Discover the person next to you.

Comments (11)

(11) Anonymous, April 21, 2010 8:59 PM

We all know someone who was there

About 20 Years ago a friend and i were out walking near the university, also in Toronto. We were two girlfriends walking together who were joined together with a third, stranger, we had all recently attended a lecture or event educating university students about the haulocast... This 3rd young woman, i don't remember her name ... told us both a (true) story about her aunt, a public health nurse, living as a goy nurse in poland; she had discovered that a jewish friends' name was on a list for 'transfer'; i don't remember what the details were. What i do remember, and i will NEVER FORGET was what she related: that her courageous aunt had arranged to meet the jewish gentleman in the marketplace and 'escort him out of poland' as his fiance. That's all i ever knew; no names, no place confirmations ... we both knew this young student was telling us the Lord's truth; the two of us (goy young women) never spoke about this again ... but i've often thought of this moment; why did she tell us? what made her comfortable speaking with us in this way? Besides this, my close jewish friends have made the nazis far more than just a horror show of history; they have affected my life deeply and resonantly; often as educators, medical professionals and ethical dynamos!! none of my family share these sentiments or understand why i would want to attend liberal synagogues; shabbot services; paassover seder's and rosh hashanah celebrations all over toronto; to celebrate the uniqueness of each person's contribution; the gift of true freedom. A film will never be done that equals the complexity of the resistance to the nazis , either; but it lives on in the hearts and minds of generations since; and ii treasure my jewish friends as the threads binding together a tapestry of life itself!! Shalom

(10) ruth, April 21, 2010 11:09 AM

take time

This is a beautiful message. I can only add, take time also to commune with Nature, because we live in a sensate world. Be not only sensitive to the stories we can each tell but also to the stories embedded in trees, in the grass, in the tiniest creature to us who are much bigger. We are all part of a delicate web and to appreciate all parts of this is deeply, part of creation itself. Thank you, Lori.

(9) Anonymous, April 21, 2010 12:58 AM

One of the best Lori has done

I think this was one of the best that I have heard Lori do.

(8) David S. Levine, April 20, 2010 9:16 PM

A Wonderful Story

The story was wonderful not only for what the Dutch gentleman did but that he had to tell about it. It must have been bottled up in him for all that time and he finally found someone to tell it to who would validly validate what he had done. Yes, we all know unique people because every person is a unique person. Yes, be friendly with everyone who wants to be and ask about unique characteristics. Don't stereotype people and, where there are difficulties, try to be helpful and encouraging. It will certainly feel good.

(7) Andrew Katz, April 20, 2010 6:14 PM

My biggest fear

This talking to strangers is my biggest fear in life. I feel a powerful force compelling me to be silent when around people.

(6) Dvirah, April 20, 2010 9:02 AM

The Worst That Can Happen

Some people are offended by personal questions. Be careful and if your neighbor does not seem receptive, don't push.

(5) Gavin-Chaim Marsden, April 20, 2010 2:29 AM

We are all heroes

We might think that we are ordinary people contending with normal problems in our jobs,family or neighbourhoods.We have joys and sadnesses,highs and lows,easy times or hard times and this is all just part of the flow of life.I believe however we are all Jacob wrestling with our own inner and outer angels.You are special,your story is special but above all Hashem has a personal interest in YOUR story.In our Parshah this week Hashem commands us to be holy for He is holy.Lori,you are so right.Imagine if we would all be able to internalize the idea that not only is the person standing next to me unique with his or her own story but they are striving to be holy.This is what Hashem demands and it can so easily be lost in the daily grind of chores,meetings,deadlines,routine and traffic jams.In this weeks Parshah we are also called upon to love your neighbour as yourself.For in my view we are all heroes bound in our common humanity with our own inestimable story of worth bringing Hashem closer with our own tikkun olam and ahavat Hashem

(4) Anonymous, April 19, 2010 5:26 PM

We are foreigner's when we live in any country besides Israel

A Latino women moved to town a few years ago. I loved her clothes, they were so eccentric in wonderful fashion. I commented her on them, and she proceeded to tell me her mother travels all over the world and buys clothes for her in all the different countries she goes to. It struck up a friendship with her. At times the people in this town has mistreated her, and she has told me about it, and I've done what I could or go higher in Authority to make it right for her. She has asked me before, why I was so different than the other people in this town. I didn't tell her what I was thinking, but told her I haven't always lived in this town. What I was thinking was Jews knows what it's like to be a foreigner in a strange land, even in a country we were born and raised in. That is why I am friendly to other foreigners. Last week this woman bore her heart to me what she and her people were going through. Her son is going to college in New Mexico, and her family lives there. They can not cross the border and she can't cross the border to go there. She can't hardly talk to him on the phone, for they are limiting calls to the US and vice a versa. There are others who appear to be from other countries, who I wanted to ask where they were from, but I haven't, what if they got offended, or what if they were born here in the US? On a talk show this morning, the host asked the guess "Where did you grow up at?" That was the key, now I know what I can ask, to strike up a conversation with others who have moved to town, without being afraid of offending them.

(3) Anonymous, April 19, 2010 2:42 PM

Let's try

Let's all try to see our fellow human beings in this way. Does anyone want to use this comment section to tell about the times you succeeded in doing so? Past and present stories would be great. II bet we can get a whole lot of comments and a whole lot of change for the good.

(2) ana, April 19, 2010 2:40 PM

If only!

If we would all look at people this way, the world would be a much prettier place.

(1) Ben Stenzler, April 19, 2010 1:25 AM


You are right in so many ways, I just I wished I could have heard this such a long time ago. My mom would always say to never judge people, or if I did she would always give the person the benefit of the doubt so I would maintain perspective. She did this in such a loving way, now I can see how beautiful it actually is. Every person is a world on their own and has their own story. My mom would always ask "how was your day? You meet any new people? and What did you think of them?" I would tell her the most repugnant one sided stories in which I emphasized judgment over the person. Except my mom would always tell me I was right and in such a loving way fabricate an excuse in which the person I was talking about was also right. Giving them the benefit of the doubt. This made me see that I really didn't know the person and felt a need to get to. Perspective is absolutely beautiful and it makes you love people so much more. Except...I'm in high school. There is no perspective. Recently I started to read the mishna and then I realize...I'm lucky. I have a very insightful parent who I can talk to, who always looks for the good in people. Then I realize that not many people have that. My friend was telling me that if we be quiet we can hear 'things'. People gossip so freely that they have no idea they are doing it. It's become a social norm. There is no perspective, after talking to my mom I have no intention of seeing how people are horrible cause they have their own story. We are told gossip isn't right and that we should never do it. I see how horrible it is now. Except we all need to find that person we can gossip to, a mom, a rabbi etc. In which they look for the good in people and only to that person. Cause until we find someone that can at least give us false positive perspective until we can fabricate it ourselves, our judgments solidify. I love you mom, there is no kinder heart in the world.


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