Yesterday I did a spring cleaning job which included the book shelves. On a bottom shelf, in the back I found a bunch of old journals which I put aside. Today, I've been going through them wondering if these kinds of things should be kept or left behind...
But look what I found-
Written on Passover in 1998-
Passover- Freedom from Slavery
Some of the most important qualities that have kept Judaism alive throughout its tumultuous history are the perseverance of individual beliefs and persistence of these beliefs in an organized, cooperative whole.
These are the very qualities that humanity needs to re-embrace in terms of increasing the quality of our life on earth.
I think that if we use this holiday as a reminder of the power of confidence in our convictions as well as the importance of maintaining convictions that are not solely self serving but are positive contributions towards a more tolerant and communicative collective good, it will have imposed its message on more currant priorities.
While it is always important to remember where we come from, it is as important to take power from and responsibility for where we are going.
In trying to use history to reflect on and reflect from, what I see to have always been the most detrimental factor in Judaism (as in all belief systems) is an incredible intolerance for any differing viewpoint. I think that if we truly want to see changes or to have our beliefs (whatever they may be) be embraced, we need to add to the perseverance and the persistence an element of tolerance and generosity towards those with different understandings of life and its many questions.
To do this, I think the easiest way to begin would be to start at home with ourselves and our family and friends.
We spend so much time in opposition to those who are supposed to be our closest allies; Our families, our friends and even ourselves. Look at the implications here. We can't take responsibility to maintain communication, compromise and tolerance with our loved ones and we expect these qualities so often from people who not only don't know us but who can't possibly understand our perspectives unless they are open and we are patient.
So, my proposal is to spend the next year focusing on living our own lives as close to our ideals as possible.
Maybe if we can really learn how to communicate, compromise and tolerate those who we love, we can then begin to do the same with those we don't know and expect the same in return.
*Copied exactly as written.
I think I could express the idea more clearly today (I hope I could!) but I think the gist comes through.