Talmud this Shabbat: Are You a Champ or a Chump If You Really Listen

Imagine that somebody at Kiddush that you know vaguely in our community starts up a conversation with you, over a bagel and tuna fish, and says something not only that you disagree with, but that you hate. It offends you to your core.

I think BDS is really important. It is not anti-Semitism. It is not anti-Israel. To the contrary, it is motivated by the deepest Jewish values of seeing the oppressed, and it is going to save the Jewish soul of the Jewish state.

I am loving what the Alabama legislature is doing. It is high time that Roe v. Wade got overturned. It is high time that we realize that life begins at conception. Hopefully with Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, Alito, Thomas and Roberts, we will finally be able to protect the lives of the unborn. Thank God!

I just think our society is getting too permissive. Marriage is between one man and one woman. I am uncomfortable with this acceptance of all these alternative lifestyles. Guess who is winning the demographic race? The Orthodox. Their kids get married young, to somebody of the opposite gender, and they have big families. Lots of kids. Our “progressive values” are going to make us extinct.

In chapter 2 of Witness, Elie Wiesel observes: “It is the otherness of the other that fascinates me.” Wiesel’s move is: not to try to convert the other person. Not to try to find common ground with the other person. Not to write off or ignore the other person. But to listen to the other person with humility and curiosity.

Do you have to be Elie Wiesel to do that? Is there no line that cannot be crossed? If you are the only person doing this radical openness, are you being a chump?

See you tomorrow at 8:30.

Shabbat shalom,