March 30, 2018, Israel
Recently one of the anti gun activists openly admitted to ostracizing the person who became the shooter, and this was done over a period of many years. Now she yells at the president of the United States and blames him for the killing.
I return to my Jewish roots. We learn many lessons from the Book of Books, the Bible, the Torah.
First, look at yourself and take responsibility for your own actions. We are taught that the first place you look is always yourself. As a child I was taught to do a Hesbhon Nefesh, which means an Accounting of the Soul, very much like doing your own taxes. At the end of the day before going to sleep take an honest look at yourself, what did you do good today, what did you do bad, are you in the plus or in the minus, did you add to the world or take from it?
We are also taught from our earliest years to look out for the weaker elements among us. The Bible admonishes us remember you were strangers in a strange land, do not forget the stranger. Now let's apply this - You see a new student, he is from out of town, or a little different, he needs a friend, so what do you do? Do you "Ostracize him"??
If so, you have gone against the rules of the universe, and you will suffer the consequences, you have created an imbalance in the universe and this cannot be. There will be consequences.
At every seminar I teach I see some "odd" types, some people that do not fit in socially; how are they treated? How do we treat the Painted Bird? In my classes and seminars I am proud to say we invite them in. We take turns training with those whom no one really wants to train with. We do not ostracize them, we do not mock them, we do not ignore them. We follow the Bible and we embrace them.
This is Jewish tradition but "You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy Levi's rye bread". You just have to be a decent person. If you understand the Bible you will understand that whether you believe or not the message there will benefit you and society. Remember you were once a stranger in a strange land, we kind to the stranger.
I was a stranger. I came to the USA from a very different culture and I was very much the outsider as a 13 year old in school. But a boy by the name of David invited me to hang out with him. He invited me to his Bar Mitzvah, he became my study partner and my friend. We are friends to this very day and if he calls me in the middle of the night I will be there for him, any day, any time, because I remember his kindness. I was a stranger in a strange land and he became my one friend.
All it takes is a little kindness to prevent an active shooter.
For those who still do not get it, the Bible/Torah is the best self-help book ever written, if you know how to read it. We start with ourselves, not with big government. We take responsibility for our own actions, we look after the needy and the "strangers", we are allowed to own weapons and are commanded to learn how to use them responsibly, women are treated with dignity and respect (Proverbs 31), children are honored and not forced into regimented systems of education. The best defense is to create a good decent society.
The Painted Bird, the price for being different. Life pushes us towards conformity. Most immigrant children soon look and sound just like their local pears. People want to fit in. Those who are different are marked. In his classic work "The Painted Bird" Jerzy Kosinski describes how children caught a bird, painted it and then ...
Feb 22, 2018 - In the "Painted Bird", an amazing novel by Jerzy Kosinski that takes place during World War Two, a young boy who is seen as others as "a Gypsy or Jewish stray" wanders around an Eastern European country seeking a place to stay. The boy encounters many challenges as he is viewed as being different.