Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.


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Monday, April 03, 2006

Testing Your Assumptions

I have a lot of personal stuff I want to write about this week, and I hope I get the physical time and emotional energy to do so. But first, following the lead of Soccer Dad and others, I urge that you read Ibrahim's Mirror, which gets my vote now for Best Post in the eventual 2006 JIBs.

After you're read it carefully (and whatever you do, don't skim or skip around!) really, really think about how your assumptions and other "baggage" impact the way you see the world and the position you take on any given issue. As someone who shuns extremism on either side of the spectrum, this piece really spoke to me. Bravo, David!

Addition: David's post reminded me of this funny-but-sad true story. But read the post first just in case this spoils it to even a small degree:
Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski tells the following in his book Generation to Generation:

I was once traveling on a bus, dressed in my customary garb, wearing a broad black hat and a black frock coat. A man approached me and said, "I think it's shameful that your appearance is so different. There is no need for Jews in America to be so conspicuous, with long beards and black hats."

"I'm sorry, mister," I said to the man. "I'm not Jewish. I'm Amish, and this is how we dress."

The man became apologetic. "Oh, I'm terribly sorry, sir," he said. "I did not mean to offend you. I think you should be proud of preserving your traditions."

7 Comments:

At 4/4/06, 1:44 AM, Blogger Earl Jackson said...

Behemet! You made that story up and you know it! As if modern day Americans or anyone else talks like that. Stop trying to pretend you're a victim when you're part of a dominant, hugely influential minority. Nobody believes your bullshit anymore, you poor little victim you:)

 
At 4/4/06, 3:18 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

This actually happened to my (charedi Israeli Rosh Yeshiva) cousin on a flight to Israel... only after the whole apology from the lady, which lasted about 2-3 minutes, he said, "Actually, I AM Jewish, and proud of it. You should be ashamed at your tolerance for everyone's traditions unless they're Jewish..." and proceeded to blast her for about 5 minutes.

:) Now that's slick!

 
At 4/4/06, 11:16 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Ezzie: Slick indeed. Did you friend have the Rabbi Twerski story in mind when he retorted or was it wholly original?

Mr. Jackson: Both the Treppenwitz story and the Rabbi Twerski one are genuine, but that's almost besides the point. Not only was your comment hateful and prejudiced (yes, us awful joooz rule the world, don't we? Nyaaah hah hah!!!), it was also completely irrelevant. These stories has nothing whatsoever to do with victimization or power, and everything to do with the need to examine our prejudices and unique backgrounds, and how they influence the way we see the world. A lesson which it seems you could greatly benefit from, if you were only open to it.

 
At 4/4/06, 12:53 PM, Blogger Elder of Ziyon said...

"Mr. Jackson" is a troll. He has a blog that claims he is in prison in England for a double homicide but his IP address is in Israel.

 
At 4/4/06, 12:56 PM, Blogger Elie said...

I assumed as much. But I am reflexively courteous to everyone, even trolls. (BTW, I noticed you took the same polite approach to your new anti-semitic visitor.)

 
At 4/4/06, 1:01 PM, Blogger Elder of Ziyon said...

He's the same guy :)

 
At 4/4/06, 5:51 PM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Uncle Earl was bitten by a rabid squirrel, so you'll have to forgive his little fits. ;)

 

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