Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Images of God


I have to say that I love reading absolutely every article that Rabbi Marc Gellman writes.

Here's a quote from his article on prejudice that was just published in Newsweek:
A story: Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav was walking down the street one day trailed by many of his students. Suddenly he stopped, looked across the street and asked his students, 'Who is that walking there across the street?'

They looked and said to him, 'Rebbe, it's no one. That's just Moshele, the water drawer, walking across the street. He's nobody.'

Reb Nachman shouted at them, 'You are no longer my students until you can look across any street and see any person and say to me, 'O that is the image of God walking there'.'

Talk about a challenge...

We all have prejudices. We all devalue other people for various reasons.

I'm not prejudiced against John McCain because of his age, or Barak Obama because he's black, or even Hillary Clinton because she's a woman. (I don't respect her, but it's for the very same reason that I don't respect her husband, so clearly it has nothing to do with her gender.)

However, I am quick to pre-judge the people in the cars in front of me. Clearly, he's a jerk for changing lanes like that. Obviously, she's an idiot for talking on the phone and not paying attention to where she's going. And surely I'm not seeing them as being made in the image of God.

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