Crossing the Religious/Secular Divide

One step is for everyone to stop making sweeping generalizations.

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Comments (21)

(20) Anonymous, November 19, 2012 1:00 PM

First, let me say thank you once again for the close captioning. It is most appreciated! Second, I agree 100% with commenter #1 re: not cutting anyone else in line. There are exceptions to this of course, but we need to use common sense and courtesy in this arena. In my life I have asked women if I can cut in front of them in line at the ladies room, due to real distress. The response has always been affirmative. Just now I started to think about the "magic words" I learned to use when I was a child. What are they? The words are please and thank you. I just reminded myself to use these words more often, ESPECIALLY with my family!

(19) David Gr, April 14, 2012 3:14 PM

The Ladder of Religious Observance

I feel frustrated over the terms like religious Jews and non-religious Jews or observant and non-observant Jews. It's like an all or nothing type thing. I would venture to say that most "non-religious" Jews believe in God although they may not observe many of the mitzvoh. I personally pray to God daily, try not speak ill of others, try to help others, minimize work on the Sabbath, and so on. However, I don't keep Kosher, married a Gentile, turn lights on and cook during the Sabbath, and so on. So I feel like I am not at the top of the ladder but neither am I at the bottom. I wish more thought would be given to where you are on the ladder than to whether you are "religious" or "non-religious".

(18) Yaacov Seoane, March 26, 2012 1:12 PM

Love your fellow Jew

You are so right about that!! We Jews should be good to each other, we have enough people who hates us. Peace in the house.

(17) arlene turini, March 25, 2012 12:14 AM


i really enjoyed this until the end; i just finished teaching the Hiding Place to my HS students and repeatedly was stated in the story etc et al that Hitler and his evil henchmen always used this word in reference to the Jews; he would say and try to accomplish "the final solution: " so when Lori said "we are the solution" it really unnerved me sorry!

(16) Malka, March 21, 2012 9:40 PM

Lori, you are such a kiddush hashem!

(15) Ayalah Haas, March 21, 2012 8:42 AM

Army Service Among Israelis

For her information (Ms. Tel Aviv secular Israeli), far many more secular israelis opt out of Army service than Torah-observant Israelis. Another thing, did Rebbetzin Palatnik explain why it is that some (many) charedim don't go into the Army? How can one explain to a secular Israeli that learning in yeshiva is indeed Service? (I really wonder how this can be phrased in a way not-yet observant Jews would mekabel?) Thank you.

(14) hrothgar, March 21, 2012 12:40 AM

What is the first and greatest commandment?It is along these lines,love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.The second is similar,Love your neighbour as yourself.Everything hangs on these two commandments.

(13) Pat, March 20, 2012 7:03 PM

Use "observant" not "religious"

I dislike the use of the word "religious" when "observant" is more correct. How can you call a person "religious" when they wear a kippah or sheitel and act in illegal or obnoxious ways? You can "observe" them in their garb, but I feel they are not "religious" when they obviously don't believe G-d is watching them.

(12) Rebbetzin Peggy Gopin Weiss, March 20, 2012 4:13 PM

Love Aish and love to watch and listen to Laurie! Thanks!

Love Aish and love to watch and listen to Laurie! Thanks for all your efforts for Klal Yisroel!

(11) David, March 20, 2012 3:28 PM

Good point.

When you set yourself apart from others by dress, custom and behavior, you volunteer to serve as an ambassador for whatever group you've decided to represent. Be a mensch, or take off the kippah.

(10) shoshana, March 19, 2012 9:08 PM

both sodes are not doing their part

i am an orthodox with very mixed views about religious zionism/charedim. in some ways I am on both sides, ( i identify with charedi people/rabbis, but i also am a zionist, and proud of israel) but unfortunately in israel you can't be mixed. You HAVE to be a certain way or you don't fit in in any community. I'm not saying out of israel there aren't differences but it's defintely harder and I think everyone is to blame! charedim blame the secular for being anti-charedi, and secular blame problems on the chardeim! i can't say I have a perfect solution, but I can say that every group in israel has to accept they are doing soemthing wrong. All groups in israel need to atleast UNDERSTAND the other side's views and then maybe we can respect each other!

Judy cohen, March 20, 2012 8:56 PM

Secular, moderate and the extremes in Judaism.

TaKe religion out of public space. Dont try to force it on anyone else or use it in state politics. Keep it private in the home and synagogues in a very spiritual meaning. Then shall be peace with mutual respect.

(9) Anonymous, March 19, 2012 9:50 AM

Labels cause generalizations

Why are there labels like FFB and BT which become a springboard for generalizations? Do FFBs realize the anguish this causes BTs?! I also find it ironic people of other backgrounds and religions seem to have much more common decency toward others than Torah Jews do (at least in the US).

(8) Efrem, March 19, 2012 7:15 AM

I Think the Women Meant Chareidim

I think the woman's comments stem from the recent events with a few here in Israel. The tension is growing between the secular and religious communities. It to have gotten worse after the following events occurred within recent weeks. I totally agree with you that we should not generalize but when Rabbis do not speak up against these types of events, it makes it very hard for secular people to give this type of stuff a pass. Unfortunately, secular people do generalize and look at all religious Jews as one. I agree that we should not generalize. All Chareidim are not this way. The army is a different story but will leave this for now. Rabbis are leaders of our communities. They should not keep silent when these types of events happen. All this does is fester more dislike and in some cases hatred. Even though we might not agree with everything another person does when it comes to religion, we should treat each other with respect.

(7) Anonymous, March 19, 2012 3:30 AM

so very true!

If only more people felt this way! We the jews have so many many enemies, let us not be the enemies of our own brothers and sisters. together with some understanding and tolerance we can all be stronger.

(6) Abbyoup, March 19, 2012 2:46 AM

Words of wisdom

As a Jew, I feel compelled to let others know I do answer to a "higher power".

(5) Ze'ev G, March 19, 2012 2:27 AM

Ahavat Yisrael

Maybe there should be a section on this website with practical suggestions and tips as to observing the very important yet sadly often overlooked mitzvah of Ahavat Yisrael! Each week there could be some practical advice about how to go out of your comfort zone and connect with a Jew who is 'different' from you. We know why the second Temple was destroyed - baseless hatred between Jews. Let's rebuild it with baseless love!

(4) smb, March 18, 2012 10:38 PM

we really do need to be careful because what we do whether positive or negative has an impact on other people. In regards to generalizing, we should definitively realize that there are different types of people within groups, some do this and some do that. The main thing we have in common is that we are Jews.

(3) Anon, March 18, 2012 3:53 PM

common courtesy no longer

seems to exist. As Baal Teshuva with little Judaism I find it appalling that the religious Jews are not taught this in Yeshiva. There is a proper way to see if it is OK to cut in line and inappropriate methods. If someone is rude about cutting in line-that is wrong. If I (usually early) am able I'll allow it. But you need to have a vaiid reason that is not based on your lack of time management. The world revolves around none of us. Just like, it is not all about you.

(2) Harry Pearle, March 18, 2012 3:48 PM

We May Correct Some Prejudice with Religious (More or Less)

Perhaps, perhaps, it is good to give people feedback with they are prejudiced about who is more important and who is less important.......Many of my friends know more much Torah than I do and I feel their prejudice towards me. I often feel inferior in their presence. I feel that there is little I can say that can add to what they already know...........After watching your 3min video lesson, I am thinking offering some polite feedback to them then I feel putdown. I do want to be part of the SOLUTION and not the PROBLEM... Thank you, Lori.. Harry@ Rochester NY

(1) Alan S., March 18, 2012 12:08 PM

As usual, an excellent commentary by Mrs. Palatnik. No one should be cutting anyone else in line. A line at an airport is not a triage line in an emergency room. Common standards of decency dictate such.


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