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Dena

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PostSubject: Reponsible or Representative    Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:29 am

This is a bit of a two part question. First, as a Jew do you feel that you represent Jews as a whole? When you speak or behave in public do you consider how others view you and may therefore view the Jewish people? Should that be one of our concerns in living our daily lives?

Do you think Jews are responsible for one another?

All Jews are considered to be a single unit. Just as the unit is incomplete if any part of it is missing or broken, so too, no one can consider oneself complete if any other part of the "unit" is incomplete. We must learn the vital lesson that we are enhanced by the spiritual successes of our neighbors, and we are diminished by their failures.

Agree? Disagree? What are the limits?

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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Reponsible or Representative    Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:42 am

Question 1 - Agree

Question 2 - Agree

We are indiviual Jews and we are "a people". It may be hard for others to understand, but G-d makes the distinction very clear.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Reponsible or Representative    Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:45 pm

An interesting question(s).

Most of the time I do not go around worrying about being an example of Jews, because most people don't know I'm a Jew. (Although be assured that my personal conscience is sometimes heavy because *I* know I'm a Jew.)

However, when I see very bad behavior out of someone who is clearly a Jew, it makes me cringe, because I do know that people judge us for it. (I wrote about one wealthy Jewish man and his wife who were gaming Social Security and Welfare: http://becomingjew.blog.com/2011/12/07/oh-dear-lord/) Those sort of stories get reported (because, honestly, it's appalling), but because Jews tend to be low-profile in their giving, you almost never see stories of great Jewish largesse--even though that's much more common than greed.

I think we are responsible for one another in the way that a family is responsible for its members. We are responsible for taking care of one another and extending at least a minimum amount of respect and courtesy. And while I think there's a certain amount of obligation of calling someone on their bad behavior, some people take this idea to the extreme and abuse it, thinking it's a license to tell someone else how to live.

For example: the haredi conflict in Israel right now. Some haredi think they should tell people how to dress, and if they don't like what someone's wearing, they can respond with violence.

Assuming that they're right, and the person's dress is immodest and halachicly wrong, their reaction is more wrong. Dressing incorrectly is, at most, a very minor sin. However, purposefully hurting someone's feelings--much less committing violence against them--is a desecration of God's name and a very large sin.

I prefer the story of a great hasidic rebbe who had a custom of giving people fruit as a gift (there was some mystical, Kabbalistic reason behind it, I think). In fact, he had an assistant who always carried around a bag with fruit.

One day, the rebbe and his assistant were out for a stroll near a military base in Israel, and here comes a young man, out for his run, wearing nothing but short shorts and tennis shoes. The rebbe waved him down and told his assistant to give the man an apple. The man took it, and went on his way. The assistant asked the rebbe why he had given such a man a gift. The rebbe replied, "When Adam and Eve ate an apple, they ended up getting clothes. Maybe, if he eats that apple, he'll get some clothes too."

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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Reponsible or Representative    Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:50 pm

" prefer the story of a great hasidic rebbe who had a custom of giving people fruit as a gift (there was some mystical, Kabbalistic reason behind it, I think). In fact, he had an assistant who always carried around a bag with fruit.

One day, the rebbe and his assistant were out for a stroll near a military base in Israel, and here comes a young man, out for his run, wearing nothing but short shorts and tennis shoes. The rebbe waved him down and told his assistant to give the man an apple. The man took it, and went on his way. The assistant asked the rebbe why he had given such a man a gift. The rebbe replied, "When Adam and Eve ate an apple, they ended up getting clothes. Maybe, if he eats that apple, he'll get some clothes too."


That's a good one!!! lol!
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Reponsible or Representative    Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:22 pm

lol!
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