A Tale of Two Worlds

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6 Responses

  1. Toby Katz says:

    If more inner-city children had a religious upbringing there would be fewer drive-by shootings. No cultural shift would make as big a difference in the lives of the poor as a cultural shift back towards Biblical morality.

  2. Yaakov Rosenblatt, Dallas says:

    Thank you Rabbi Adlerstein for a very nice piece. The “Israeli eyes” volunteer program would be a wonderful way to turn dormant potenial within our community into a wondrous kiddush Hashem that will be appreciated by both Jews and non Jews, righties and lefties. It may change the way many of the latter see Israel and Israelis.

    Can it be done? Will it be done?

  3. Yvonne says:

    I agree with you that a religious upbringing is foundational to being able to act morally. However, your comment (“cultural shift . . . in the lives of the poor”) implies that the religious component, in comparison to other environments where youth are not participating in drive-by shootings, is less present among inner-city inhabitants than among others.

    Having grown up in a thoroughly crime-ridden inner-city environment and now living in a West Los Angeles suburb, but continuing to have interaction on a regular basis with inner-city residents–if you forced me to choose, Toby–I would say that one would in actuality come across more instances of a religious orientation (faith and practice; I’d even bet $ on more Bible studies per capita) among the inner-city areas of Los Angeles than one would in a “nice” area like Pacific Palisades.

    In other words, I don’t think it’s the deep, abiding religious upbringing of Pacific Palisades boys that keeps them from shooting each other.

    Yaakov, would you tell us who are not in the know more about the “Israeli eyes” volunteer program?

  4. Eliezer Barzilai says:

    Your article is very thought provoking, and highlight an irony. The United States, unique among nations in not having a state religion, seems to be comprised of a population that is overwhelmingly religious. Perhaps true Democracy requires a religious population that believes in not imposing their beliefs on others.
    This reminds me of the Tiferes Yisroel’s interpretation of the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos 3:17 which states “Im ein Torah, ein derech eretz,” meaning, more or less, “if there is no Torah, there is no social justice.” The Tiferes Yisroel understands “Torah” not literally as our Torah, but rather as belief in a divine code, belief in reward and punishment, and belief in the eternity of the soul.

  5. Yaakov Rosenblatt, Dallas says:


    Sorry for not being clear.

    Using Isreali volunteers in LA and other big cities to run citizen bomb-vigilance programs is a great idea.

    A very simple program which gives the average citizen a basic understanding of what to look for in a suspicious package, marketed as “created by Israelis and taught by Israelis” would both help people in a meaningfully way, and lead both lefties and righties to see the value of Israel and to appreciate Israelis.

  6. David says:

    A very nice post. As to your point about living in separate worlds, this is becoming less true. Just a few days ago there was an (alleged) gang killing in a park right in the heart of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood in Los Angeles (Robertson at Airdrome).

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