Religion & Beliefs

Who’s a good Jew?

Are you a good Jew? I'll be the judge! And who's my first official "favorite Faithhacker commenter? David AM! For posting this in response to Friday's Shabbat post… (and also writing this cool story) But mostly because he said… Sounds … Read More

By / November 20, 2006
Jewcy loves trees! Please don't print!

Are you a good Jew? I'll be the judge!

And who's my first official "favorite Faithhacker commenter? David AM!

For posting this in response to Friday's Shabbat post… (and also writing this cool story)

But mostly because he said…

Sounds like I'm a much more Shabat-observant person than you, but then followed that phrase with a comment that did not judge the differences in our levels of observance. His comment was helpful, useful, and offered me a bit of advice that I (in my less observant life) could make use of.

How awesome is that?!

For so many of us (me included) even if we're "pluralists" we assume that other people are basically on OUR same path, but not quite so far along. We have a hierarchy of value in our heads… like, "Oh, I used to think like that, but then I read this article on the death penalty, and now I know better." As though we'll all arrive at the same conclusions after reading the same article.

OR we just assume people who don't think like us are dumb, and either we don't bother interacting with them, or we yell AT them. We rarely listen to someone whose life is altogether different from ours.

This knee-jerk is so lame, and so useless. Especially since it's those "different" people we stand to learn the most from.

It's been my experience (as in, I'm lame too) that people in online communities have a part of their brain that turns off when they recognize such a difference. An atheist, realizing a post has been made by an observant Jew, is likely to discount whatever that person has to offer. Likewise, an observant Jew is likely to assume the atheist is wrongheaded.

Because in internet-land, deep in the blogosphere, we don't have faces and voices to humanize us, and it's so easy to link on ahead, or open a new screen. Much harder to walk away from a real person.

So I'm saying all this to let you know, as readers, that we should all take a lesson from David. Let's approach as readers willing to learn, and educate. Let's interact with people who aren't like us. I'm willing… are you?

Truly… there's got to be something in the Torah somewhere, or the Talmud… about learning from everyone.

Not that I'd know where to find it… but I'm learning.

Like a good Jew. Heh.