March 31, 2008

Ask A Rabbi

A rabbi from a conservative congregation asks (and answers) a relatively simple question:
What would you say… to an 80-year-old Holocaust survivor who was unmoving in his conviction that all Germans were evil? What would you say to this person, who refused to interact with anyone German, no matter whether they were present at, involved in or even alive during World War II? … [O]f course [you] would repudiate the views of that person without cutting them off entirely.
Just so. The Holocaust survivor is wrong, obviously so – but you can understand why he’s wrong and you can hardly be surprised at his feelings. And while you might strenuously disagree with his opinion, you would still embrace him with love and welcome him into your community and maybe even into your house from time to time. And you would resist the calls of other people that you act ashamed for having done so, despite the obvious wrongness, and indeed offensiveness, of the anti-German prejudice your friend evidenced.

The analogy isn't perfect, of course. But it's close enough to understand where Obama is coming from.

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