Just Breathe: How to Create a More Accepting World

Imagine a world where everyone really felt they were equal.

Click here if you are unable to view this video.

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

(7) concerned mom, October 22, 2013 8:09 PM

How to accept others when they spawn hateful speech toward Jews

Can we just relax, smile, accept others, and breathe, when we hear pro-Nazi sentiments like these coming from their twisted hearts? Such beliefs are growing more widespread. Shall we accept all those who feel this way? Can't we make a judgment call here? Maybe these boys have equally good brains, but they are not putting them to positive use when they spew forth hate messages as the ones they've been raised on. We Jews may try to ignore or hide from this, but it's clearly becoming an increasingly dangerous world. We must speak our outrage, reject such statements, and prepare to protect ourselves. The ashes from the Holocaust are barely cool; with rapid demographic changes ongoing in Europe there are indications it could happen there again. And in time, in other places. It's a matter of who is left to dare to speak out in outrage! Here is a link to the video clip and article which discusses it.


(6) Anonymous, October 22, 2013 2:59 PM


This was wonderful! Something to keep in mind, every day, all day.

(5) Anonymous, October 22, 2013 2:55 PM

Rabbi Sytner is an amazing speaker and teacher!

I've heard Rabbi Sytner speak both locally in Westchester County, NY and on line via the Aish newsletter. His teachings are very realistic and obtainable vs. idealistic. They are always on topics that are relevant in my life (and in probably everyone else's). He is a talented teacher and I was thrilled when he started speaking on Aish.com. Thank you for including him!

(4) Harry Pearle, October 22, 2013 2:28 PM

What about discussing DISPUTES? (Shutdown Crisis)

Rabbi Sytner, this is great, but what about disputes concerning equality? I was thinking about the Shutdown Crisis in Washington. And I wondered why Aish.com has not commented about it, yet. Why not? It is politically charged, but why not at least mention it? Many crises have been discussed on this page, but not Shutdown, which could affect all of us......I hope that Aish. com will discuss it, in some balanced way. Disputes and differences should be discussed, so that we can better get along, with more RESPECT, I think. THANKS

(3) Anonymous, October 22, 2013 9:44 AM

Love all of your Just Breathe videos. You have a wonderful knack for selecting topics with such important messages. Keep them coming.

(2) Anonymous, October 22, 2013 2:35 AM


If everyone thought this way, the world would be a much nicer place. Thank you for reminding me what is important in life - the way we treat others should always be our top priority!

(1) Rosen, October 20, 2013 2:36 PM

acceptance vs. grudges

If only we lived in a more accepting world where we could tolerate others' flaws instead of holding grudges and saying "I'm still mad at you."


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive Weekly Spirituality Emails

Sign up to our Spirituality Newsletter.

Our privacy policy