Friday, August 12, 2005

Tisha B'Av and the hitnatkut: Concerning (and concerned about) Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred)

This is an excerpt of a comment that I read on someone else's blog that upset me. "I heard of such a women's minyan in _____ when my sister was living there. My question is [1] why would you want to? and [b] don't you have anything better to do? There are plenty of things that are broken and need fixing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I have no problem with the fact that there are many in the Jewish community who are far more traditional than I. But I do have a problem with people lobbing insults at one another because of differences of opinion and/or practice. As I e-mailed her, "If there's one thing that I've learned in my twenty years as an egalitarian member of a traditional Conservative synagogue, it's to try to avoid showing disrespect toward those with whom I disagree. We're all in this together. Talk about "slippery slopes," why let differences in haskafah [viewpoint, approach] lead to lashon hara ["evil speech"]?"

Here we are, about to commemorate the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash (Holy Temple in Jerusalem), which, according to rabbinic tradition, was destroyed because of sinat chinam, baseless hatred. And yet, we indulge in sinat chinam?!

As the Out of Step Jew from Kfar Saba said in his Tuesday, June 21, 2005 post, Not the Worst Thing,, "Maybe its time we toned down the emotions a bit . . ."

We are going to be in Israel shortly after the official start of the hitnatkut (I hope I got the spelling right), the withdrawal from Gaza. I fear for my people, both Am Israel (the Jewish People) and Am Eretz Yisrael (the people of the Land of Israel), if we continue to treat one another with such disrespect. I pray that our differences of opinion—religious, political, and any combination of the aforementioned—not tear us apart.

"There are plenty of things that are broken and need fixing." Sinat chinam is one of them. So let's fix it. Together. Please.


Blogger Eliyahu said...

blessings that your journey be safe, and your prayers realized!

Sat Aug 13, 09:30:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thank you for your good wishes, and amen.

Sun Aug 14, 10:44:00 PM 2005  

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