web analytics
August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Are We Fulfilling our Mission to the World?

I get so worked up when one of us, especially one who is observant, somehow misbehaves in any way.

Gene Wilder as Avram Belinski, a Polish rabbi who is traveling to San Francisco, and Harrison Ford as a bank robber who befriends him, in the 1979 movie The Frisco Kid.

Gene Wilder as Avram Belinski, a Polish rabbi who is traveling to San Francisco, and Harrison Ford as a bank robber who befriends him, in the 1979 movie The Frisco Kid.

One of the things I talk about frequently here is that part of our mission as Jews to be a light unto the nations… to show the world the beauty of the Torah. As this week’s Parsha (Torah portion) suggests (Devorim 4:6) ‘Chochmosam Uvinaschem L’Einei Ha-amim…’   ‘Your wisdom and understanding (will be) before the eyes of the nations’.  ‘…V’Omru Rak Am Chacham V’navon HaGoy HaGadol Hazeh ‘– ‘And (the nations) will say: How wise and understanding is this great nation!’

This is why I get so worked up when one of us, especially one who is observant, somehow misbehaves in any way. In my sense of duty that stems from this mandate, I want to assure anyone who reads my blog that Judaism as expressed in the Torah does not approve of such behavior at all and instead condemns it. It is our sense of right and wrong which stemming from a clear understanding of the Torah that we are obligated to project.

I have often commented that there are non Jews that read this blog. It therefore obligates anyone who comments on my posts to realize that the way they comment reflects on the Judaism they are supposed represent. Every once in a while – someone comes along who thinks I am targeting his segment of Judaism – trying to make them look bad.

That is of course not true. Any criticism I may have stems from a love of the Jewish people and the desire to improve all of us as a people, both in material ways and spiritual ways. And yet such individuals somehow are blinded to that fact and proceed to exhibit rude and disrespectful behavior, really out of line with the other commenters.

They are there seeming to pick fights all the time. They actually bring down the level of discourse because ultimately people respond to non-constructive comments and those particular discussion trails are usually not very productive.

In the interests of presenting opposing views, I tend to give these people some latitude. Although I will occasionally delete or modify those comments that cross the lines of common decency. But I wonder if I sometimes go too far in granting this latitude. Am I being counter-productivein doing so? What do non Jewish readers of my blog really think? What are they left with after all is said and done?

Yesterday I received a note from a non Jewish reader. I am posting in full that part of the e-mail that she gave me permission to quote. It follows:

Dear Rabbi Maryles,

I have been reading your blog for about half year now, and I find it very interesting and informative.  I am not Jewish, but I think the topics you discuss and the comments from the majority of your followers are diverse and interesting and clearly coming from an educated background.  I feel like I am learning more about the world by reading your blog and then seeing the heated but generally good-natured debate from your loyal followers.  I also find it very interesting and refreshing when you change your opinion on something based on the comments/discussions.   I totally respect your freedom of speech policy on your blog, but I thought you might be interested in hearing the opinion of a mainly silent (non-commenting) reader who nonetheless really enjoys your blog.  I think that because it is your blog you have every right to restrict rude comments, or not respond at all to people who don’t know how to behave themselves, just because they are anonymous.  Keep up the good work!

Best wishes, Andrea Itano

First, I want to thank Ms. Itano for her kind words. I am happy to see that the overall impression of the non Jewish world that reads my blog is very positive… at least as far as one reader has expressed it.

What she did not want me to post is her problem with the kind of comments I referred to above. She was very detailed about those concerns. I think it behooves all of us to behave like ‘the people of the book’ that God intends for us to be. And those who comment here should be aware that not only are all types of Jewish eyes upon us, gentile eyes are upon us, too. Not to mention God’s ‘eyes’.

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Are We Fulfilling our Mission to the World?”

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility.
Nearing Double Digits in the Democrat Defection from Bad Iran Deal
Latest Blogs Stories
yeshivaresized flash 90.jpg

Surprisingly, many Hareidi communities do not advocate full time Kollel study for life as the ideal.

Baim-061915-Mazal-Tov

“You’ve been out on enough dates, are you going to marry him?” Many times I’ve choked at this point.

Shira Banki, 16, z'l

What is left to say when a 16 year-old is dead? How will her mother and family endure without her?

Bloodstained car after Palestinian Authority terrorists shot at settlers

Compare the numbers. Disproportionately too many Arab attacks on Jews have been happening.

What is the impact of renouncing US citizenship if you live abroad? Can you visit the US again?

Gentile friends of Israel came from all over Norway & Europe and they sang “Hatikva” in Norwegian!

As the incitement begins again against the settlers, the religious and the Right, let’s review the list of children killed by terrorists.

Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.

In all the years (and this week it’s exactly 14 years) since our daughter was murdered, we have not found a single Arabic-language post, article, tweet or speech condemning that attack in the center of Jerusalem or the killings.

Everyone is angry at the ongoing Arab terrorism, but what does murdering a baby have to do with protecting Jewish lives or furthering Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel?

Tonight, live Meerkat interactive video tour and talk in Jerusalem.

The US doesn’t want Pollard & he doesn’t want America- release him with 1 condition: No return to US

Meet Republican US presidential candidate Kerry Bowers & listen to his message to the Israeli public

Amongst the Palestinians (sic) what is promoted and praised for its young people? Terror & martyrdom

“If you can’t negotiate with your enemy, why negotiate at all?” Great sound bite. The press loved it

The phenomenon pushing limits of Orthodoxy to the extreme left has no chance of becoming mainstream

More Articles from Harry Maryles
yeshivaresized flash 90.jpg

Surprisingly, many Hareidi communities do not advocate full time Kollel study for life as the ideal.

Woman_rabbi

The phenomenon pushing limits of Orthodoxy to the extreme left has no chance of becoming mainstream

There needs to be clarity about what is & isn’t acceptable in Orthodoxy; That should be the debate.

Imperative to get world’s Jewish billionaires to support Jewish education like their other projects

No legitimate Orthodox body in the States or Israel accepts “Open Orthodoxy.” They went too far.

Obama is not anti Israel. He’s just misguided, perhaps blinded by his desire to force a peace treaty

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah} The inevitable finally happened. Rabbi Avi Weiss has dispensed with his prior refusal to call his female ordainees ‘rabbis’.  I challenged him to stop dancing around that title with made up titles  (like Raba and Maharat) and he finally rose to the challenge. His motivation in not […]

Existence requires meaning. Believing all random and without meaning is a horrible fate for mankind

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/are-we-fulfilling-our-mission-to-the-world/2013/07/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: