You'll Never Believe Who And Where
You will never, ever guess who wrote the following paragraph, and in which magazine it appeared:
A large and diverse community can only join together for common purposes on the basis of some shared values — first and foremost, that of respect for the right of others to think differently from oneself and tolerance for divergent views. Such tolerance starts with a recognition of one's own limitations and the unlikelihood that truth rests exclusively with one person or group.
So who wrote this, and where?
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks in a controversial sequel to The Dignity of Difference?
Thomas Friedman in The New York Times?
Ellen DeGeneres in Vanity Fair?
The answer is...
Jonathan Rosenblum, in Mishpachah magazine this week!
Now, it's true that Rosenblum is referring to the community of the entire United State of America. But obviously his words are also extremely applicable to the particular sector of Orthodox Judaism that Mishpacha represents, which most certainly lays claim to exclusive truth and has very little tolerance for divergent views.
It particularly brought to mind the responsum from Rabbi Daniel Travis/ Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg (alas, it is impossible to know the true author) in which a person was told to disregard his father's dying wish to leave a donation to conservation and not to a kollel, and was told to give it instead to a kollel. This is based on the presumption that "we know better than him what he would really want to do with his money." Such an approach is the exact opposite of "respect for the right of others to think differently from oneself" and "recognition of one's own limitations and the unlikelihood that truth rests exclusively with one person or group."
So, does Rosenblum secretly wish that the Mishpachah readership would also subscribe to the approach that he suggests for America as a whole? Or would he claim that only others should recognize their own limitations and the unlikelihood that truth rests exclusively with them, but charedi Jews do indeed have the exclusive truth?
Alas, there is no way to know. But either way, it's interesting to see such an approach promoted in Mishpacha as being desirable!
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