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In the comment section of the post noted above, some excellent suggestions to improve the level of tolerance and achdus were made. One of them was from Neil Harris of Chicago, who proposed that those of us who live in communities with diverse shuls and schools occasionally take our children to daven in a shul with a different hashkafa from our own. Kindly have a look at the posts from readers around the world and perhaps share your thoughts with us as well.

These are lessons that can benefit all children of Yaakov Avinu as we teach our children to take pride in our derech in serving Hashem while being supremely respectful of those whose paths differ from ours.

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Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, a popular author and lecturer on chinuch and parenting matters, serves as dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey and director of The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project Y.E.S.

He recently published a skills-based chumash workbook, “Bright Beginnings,” designed to teach children critical lashon kodesh skills, and partnered with ArtScroll to publish the best-selling “Let’s Stay Safe” child safety reader which helps parents speak to their children about safety and personal space. Visit www.kosherjewishparenting.com for details on these publications.

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Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is director of The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES, conducts child abuse prevention and parenting workshops internationally, and is the author of two books and has published the landmark children’s personal safety picture book “Let’s Stay Safe!,” the Yiddish edition “Zei Gezunt!,” and the Hebrew adaptation, “Mah She’batuach – Batuach!”

1 COMMENT

  1. I truly like the suggestion of davening in different shules in various communities to help foster a better understanding of each other. I would also like to take this idea further and suggest we spend shabbos or Yom tov in each other’s homes and communities, and maybe send our children to spend a day in each other’s Yeshiva. We need to have a better understanding of each others’ derech and tolerance for one another, particularly if one’s hashkofa, derech and minhagim may be different from what each of us is used to. Perhaps, the Rabbonim of our various communities could spearhead a shabboton or organize opportunities for our various groups to meet, talk and learn Torah together. We may be pleasantly surprised to learn how much we all have in common.
    As we try to build relationships with one another, we also need to remember that our Torah tells us “Hokeach Tokeach es Amitecha”, that when one sees a fellow Jew do something wrong, it is our responsibility to rebuke him/her. We should however, do so with tact and sensitivity to other and not embarrass one another in public. In the case of what happened in Ramat Beit Shemesh, these individuals do need to be made aware of their wrongdoings and what a chilul Hashem it caused worldwide, but they also need to be reminded one generation after the Holocaust that every Jewish child is a special treasure that must be cherished and protected. When we forget this, and act inappropriately towards one another, the world has a way of reminding us that the Jewish people are all one. It is time we remember and start pulling together as members of Am Yisroel and acting in the Tzelem Elokim in which we were created. That includes all of us men, women and our very precious children. We can never forget whom we are and that we have tremendous responsibility for one another.

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