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On Yom Kippur: One essence, one body

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As we approach the eve of Yom Kippur in coronavirus times, we find ourselves in an atmosphere of divisiveness and mud-slinging among our people.

The following is an excerpt from Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s conversation that might awaken us to thoughts on baseless hatred as well as justified hatred:

By all accounts we are not yet in the days of Messiah; We are in the “Ikvata Demishicha” — the heels of Messiah, and we are trampled under these footprints, with all kinds of suffering and turmoil.

Out of all these problems and unrest, I would like to focus on one issue, which has to do with looking at the picture of the Jewish world as a whole.

Each of us can continue to sit in his little village or room and see only one corner of the world, but it seems to me worthwhile to look at the broad and comprehensive picture of the people of Israel – the people of Israel in Israel, USA, Jamaica, New Zealand and other parts of the world.

And when I look at this big picture, I see something that scares me.

Everyone who deals with Jewish history, as well as everyone who studies Gemara, is aware that the people of Israel have always had disagreements.

Disagreements are part of our internal culture, on two main sides:

First, we as human beings, as Jews, grow on the assumption that we are not a herd, but each one is a person in his own right, and therefore each person has the right and opportunity to express his opinion and disagree with others.

Second, our cultural world, as expressed in the Talmud, is a dialectic of the building that........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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