Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Unity and Individuality

I once heard a story about a couple that was just married under the chuppah. The Rabbi had blessed, or advised them that "they need to become one" in order to live a happy, Jewish life together. Right then and there, they began to argue with each other over which one they should become, "he meant that you should become me !", etc.

One of the challanges inherent in unity is to maintain individual identity.

I quote Rabbi Emanuel Feldman:

Granted, there are differences in outlook and perspective between the MO and the YO, and these should not be minimized or disregarded. MO, for example, is not fearful that engagement with the outside world will somehow dilute its Jewishness; but YO is convinced that such engagement, beyond what is unavoidable, will inevitably result in such dilution, and is thus very cautious about crossing certain boundary lines...Only the naïve would expect that these and other differences can be airbrushed away. Nevertheless, it would be a serious dereliction of our duties as Jews if either group, busily tending its unique garden, diverted its eyes from the parlous facts of contemporary Jewish life.

Rabbi Avi Shafran writes as well:

Despite the different paths of principle we may tread, the good will need not be—and, baruch Hashem, rarely is—left behind. That said, we must all work to ensure that it never is—that, despite our undeniable diversity, the unity born of ahavas Yisrael continues to envelop us all.

Also worthwhile, is this article by Rabbi Wein, described as "a most personal article and reflects my emotions and hopes about my beloved Jewish people", as well as a link to Moshiach's Hat.

Let us hope for the time when the entire month of Av will be one of happiness!

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