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Disagree, Respectfully

Thursday, 18 August, 2016 - 10:22 am

 Earlier this week I shared this image on my pageFB Image


The above facebook post led to a conversation about Jewish unity, disagreements in Judaism and more. My take on it was that while we may disagree, we are one family and can argue our points respectfully.

By Hashgocha Protis, divine providence, there is a Midrash that tells a story that happened when Rabban Gamliel (an Isralite), R. Yehoshua (a Levite), R. Elazar (a Cohen) and R. Akiva (a Convert Family) went to visit Rome. While there, they discussed that G-d is not like a human ruler: when a human makes a rule he expects his subjects to follow it but he does not necessarily follow it. However, when G-d makes a rule, He follows it as well. 

Hearing this, a Heretic disagreed: Doesn't G-d carry by makeing the rain fall on Shabbos just like during the week? The Rabbis responded that everyone is allowed to carry within their own domain. Since the entire world belongs to G-d, it is His domain and He can move the rain without violating the law of carrying in a public space. 

The Midrash tells us the names of the Rabbis because they all agreed to this response (a rarity) even though they were each from a different "class" of Jews; from the Kohen to the convert.

To put a twist to the midrash; while G-d may own the world, how can He make it rain in the domains of unique individuals? To which the Rabbis responded: Although to us, mere mortals, we are all different and may have different opinions, we all serve the same G-d who blesses us (with rain), each according to his unique needs, but with equal love as we are all the same to Him. 

G-d loves us all. We can have disagreements and respect our unique differences, as long as we keep in mind that we are one people, one family, with one Torah.

I hope to see you soon, 

 Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

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