2015-09-30 / Editorial

Jews are one people despite our differences

The stereotype goes that two Jews in a room will engage in high-decibel debates and hold at least three opinions. And that’s okay. Our sages and scholars, dating back thousands of years, have had famous disagreements about Jewish law and politics just as Jews today are divided over contemporary issues, including the Iran nuke deal and Israeli policies. Judaism does not say that we need to agree all the time.

But in this season of fall festivals, as we atone for our sins as both individuals and as part of a larger collective Jewish community, it is important that we remember what unites us. No matter what our opinions, we must still work together for our common interests. We are one people who share a rich history, the land of Israel, and the same interests in Jewish continuity.

Sukkot, one of the three pilgrimage holidays, is a time for mending fences. Along with Passover and Shavuot, Sukkot is historically when people traveled to Jerusalem to pray and celebrate together. It was a powerful show of unity.

History has clearly shown that we become weak when we fail to recognize that we are one people, and act accordingly. We can still agree to disagree and argue with passion as long as we treat each other with respect. However, in these complicated times, we must also be prepared to put our differences aside to work together toward our common goals.

Chag Sukkot sameach. .

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