Variations on a Theme by Dr. Schick

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2 Responses

  1. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Because keeping and correlating information is getting to be so easy and cheap, a lot of the privacy we (Western civilization, not just Jews) have grown used to is going to go away. Maybe it’s all for the best – if people aren’t aware of the Real Judge who sees everything, maybe it is better if they are aware that their family, friends, and co-workers are in a similar position.

    Will that mean that Anti-Semites will have more to say about us? I don’t think so. The effect will be that they will twist real things, such as your comments, instead of fabricating their own material, such as the Protocol of the Elders of Zion. Big deal. People who want to hate will hate anyway. People who want to understand will be able to find your comments and see them in context.

    My question is a simple one. I could not help but notice the contrast between the NY Post story on Satmar, and the Baltimore coverage of the passing of Rabbi Naftoli Neuberger, z”l. The media’s examination of the life and contribution of the latter was a kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d’s Name) of the first order. Are people like Rabbi Neuberger sui generis, or are there factors that create one’s propensity towards kiddush Hashem rather than its opposite?

    Partially it was due to the type of story. A story about a fist fight is obviously going to be less sympathetic than an obituary. Fist fights are not what we are supposed to do in a civilized society – when we need violence we try to outsource it to professionals. We are only supposed to use it ourselves as a last resort for self defense. There is nothing wrong, however, with a person dying from old age.

    However, our actions do affect what is going to be reported about us. If Satmar hadn’t had the fight, the N.Y. Times wouldn’t have had the story. If Rabbi Rabbi Naftoli Neuberger z”l (of blessed memory) wasn’t respected outside the Jewish community, his passing wouldn’t have been news. Kiddush hashem is the same it had always been – doing good because G-d commanded it. It’s just that now it is more visible.

  2. Ellen says:

    I think there’s just a cultural difference between New York and much of the rest of the country. I had once heard that the founders of New Amsterdam specifically wanted a non-religious state, in which financial pursuits would be most prominent. Seems accurate.

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