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Building a vibrant and equitable Orthodoxy

14 0 28

Every fall I have the privilege of interviewing fourth year medical students who are applying for a residency position in neurosurgery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Sometimes an intrepid student will ask me, “What are you looking for? What is the most important quality for a successful resident?” And my answer is always: We have a wonderful pool of smart talented applicants, and we will be able to teach them the data, thinking and surgical techniques that they will need.

But we can’t teach caring. So caring is the most important quality that I look for in a resident. The residents who care for the patients will extend themselves to assure the most optimum care, and they will be the best physicians when they graduate. I don’t know if scientific studies support the idea that caring cannot be taught, but at the least it seems to me to be a most difficult quality to instill, and, the most important.

So what does it take to have a vibrant and equitable Orthodoxy? We have to care enough about both Orthodoxy and equity to actively advocate for the combination. And I think what we will find, and are finding, is that there are many people who have similar cares but either didn’t realize it or were afraid to speak up. Because halakhic equity is a basic tenet of our beliefs. We are not supposed to go out of our way to exclude people or impose unnecessary impediments. Our Tanakh includes many passionate calls for justice. The prophets criticize those who oppress others. This is an integral part of our Judaism, and many........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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