Imagine if every Jew truly felt connected to each and every other Jew no matter who they were and that if ANY Jew needed help we would all do whatever we could to help them with all of our ability. This already would be wonderful don’t you think?! But let’s step up this imagery… Imagine if each and every Jew shared the same ideology, the same ideals, the same values and that we worked together towards same goals. Wow! How awesome and powerful a nation would we be?!
Sadly as a people we do not enjoy unity. As we know, there are left wing Jews and there are right wing Jews, there are Torah observant Jews and there are Jews who are anti Torah… and there are so many other factions and individuals who don’t see eye to eye and in many cases, feel hatred towards each other.
But… just because that is the way things are right now, that doesn’t mean that we should give up hope that we the Jewish people could ever attain unity. We can start to build Jewish unity today, even with all of our differences! Here is how I believe we can start along the road to unity in 3 simple steps…
Step 1 – Keep the VISION in mind
The first step is simply to create for ourselves a picture in our mind and heart of what Jewish unity looks like and feels like. This means to imagine us all connecting as a nation. To feel the connectedness and the belonging and the strength that comes from everyone supporting everyone else… If we can do this, we can then draw from our vision the motivation we will need to work towards it…
Step 2 – ‘ACT’ with love
So practically how can we work towards this beautiful vision of unity when there are so many different factions within us who’s ideals and values and goals are so different? How can we unite as a people when so many groups and individuals within us either clash or are totally apathetic to the well being of other Jews who aren’t just like them?
Well, the answer is simply this…
We need to start by defining love as an ‘action’ instead of a fuzzy, warm feeling. Trying to develop a fuzzy, warm, loving feeling for someone who I can’t identify with, or worse, who I consider to be a narrow minded, obnoxious person, is not easy. But it is possible to ‘act’ in a ‘loving, connecting way’ towards a fellow Jew even if I ‘feel’ indifferent to them and even if I consider them to be a narrow minded, obnoxious person. I just need to understand that by making the effort to ‘act’ in a loving way I am in fact building bridges without which Jewish unity cannot come about and, therefore, acting in such a way is worth the effort.
Practically, what I mean by ‘acting’ in a loving way to bring about a basic level of Jewish unity is this:
- We should show concern for the property of every Jew. (We don’t have to like them to do this)
- We should treat each and every Jew with respect. (Obviously not being rude to them or talking badly about them)
- We should help every fellow Jew when they need help. (Even and in fact espeically if we see them as being in a different ‘group’ to us and as possessing an opposing ideology to us)
- If we come in contact with a Jew we don’t know… Ask their name… share your own… have a conversation… look for the good… Wish them well. (I.e. ‘Act’ in a warm way towards every Jew)
‘Acting’ in a warm, loving way may seem fake or hypocritical if we don’t feel that way in our hearts. It is not fake or hypocritical! Why not? Well, because deep down we all want Jewish unity and this is taking the 1st step in that direction!
Here’s an amazing true story that brings out the point that acting in a loving way can build bridges in Jewish unity. A Jewish lady who identifies herself as ‘left wing, liberal and not at all Torah observant’ told me that one day, after she had done her weekly shop and was bringing her bulging plastic carrier bags to her car another car drove by too closely. Two of her packed plastic carrier bags split open and groceries started to roll all over the place. A ‘frum’ Torah observant women who saw what happened sent her two ‘frum’ Torah observant kids to quickly help pick up everything that had spilled onto the ground. She also bent down herself and began collecting items from the ground for this lady. These two ladies (who lived with very different ideologies) began to speak (something the liberal lady told me she would never ever have sought to do) and they realised that they actually live on the same road. This lady who as I said considers herself as ‘left wing and liberal and not at all Torah observant’ still lives with the same ideology and lifestyle as she did before this event but now, whenever she sees this ‘frum’ lady, she waves and smiles and she no longer feels the intense hatred that she said she used to feel when she saw ‘frum’ people.
By acting in a loving, connecting way towards other Jews we can break down barriers and build bridges. We might even begin to realise that in truth, deep down, perhaps we aren’t so different after all, even though our lifestyles are… We begin to unify!
Here’s the pitch… Are you willing to try keeping your eyes open for opportunities to act in a loving way towards one fellow Jew one time a week – someone who you would normally feel apathetic towards and perhaps even negativity?
Are you willing to try that?
Step 3 – Share this blog!
So let’s work on this together and let’s share the fact that we believe in working on this together and building Jewish unity. If we would share this blog post with just one person and because of that they would one time go out of their way to act in a more loving way towards someone they either feel apathetic towards or whom they see as ‘the enemy’, that would be AMAZING! Every step is a step in the right direction!!!
Imagine if 100,000 Jews read this blog post and 10% commit to acting with more ‘acts’ of love towards every Jew and especially Jews whom they see as different to them! That’s 10,000 Jews building bridges! We may not achieve the ultimate unity that I described in the opening paragraph straight away, but every step in the right direction is important and is taking us higher!
So… Let’s keep the vision of Jewish unity in mind and make the decision each day to live with a ‘unity attitude’ – an attitude of ‘acting’ with love to ‘every’ Jew no matter who they are or how we feel about them and in fact especially if we normally wouldn’t be inclined to act towards them with love…
And please let’s share this blog! We can achieve Jewish unity. We really can! Every new person who reads this blog and makes even one effort they wouldn’t have otherwise made to ‘act’ with love towards another Jew is bringing the goal closer to reality – There are buttons below which allow you to share this post on facebook, email it and to whats app it.
If you want to copy and paste a link so you can whats app or email it to a group of friends here’s the link:
Hi, I read this awesome blog post – 3 Simple Steps To Achieving Jewish Unity – It’s Really worth a read! Here’s the link: https://thinkingjew.com/2016/08/23/jewish-unity/
Until next time…
This blog post is dedicated to the elevation of the soul of Aharon Yoseph ben Yisrael Moshe who recently returned to his Source