As the world changes, so do people’s values. Today, many people value freedom of speech and expression more than ever before. They also take issue with bigotry and discrimination of any kind. For these and other reasons, it is important for everyone to be able to speak their minds freely and live their lives without fear of repercussions. In a changing world where political correctness no longer exists, it’s good to remember that our personal assumptions are our most powerful tools in fighting back against intolerance and discrimination. In this article, American scholar Samuel Waldman shares a few tips on how to preserve Jewish values in a changing world.
How can Jewish tradition elevate our day-to-day existence in the 21st century? What does the Jewish past have to do with our own future? These are just some of the questions that Samuel Waldman briefly touches in this post, while offering an eloquent and thoughtful new vision for all Jews seeking a sense of belonging in a changing world, regardless of their current level of observance.
Be an active participant in the community and in your faith
One of the best ways to protect your Jewish values is to participate in your local community. This is perhaps the single most important thing you can do. If you don’t go to synagogue or mikvah, or get involved in any Jewish-related activities, then you’re missing out big time. This may make you feel a little self-conscious when you’re out in the world, but it’s the least you can do. When you take part in your community, you let other people know that you value their perspective and help to reinforce that you’re not trying to impose your views on anyone.
Part of being an active participant in your local community is letting other people know where you stand on certain issues. There are many ways to do this, but the most effective way is to talk to other people about your views. Even if you don’t always agree with what others have to say, at least you’ll know that you’ve opened yourself up to some conversation and debate. There are a number of ways to get involved in your local community, but the most effective way is to talk to other people about your views. Even if you don’t always agree with what others have to say, at least you’ll know that you’ve opened yourself up to some conversation and debate.
When asked the question “Why be Jewish?” Rabbi Samuel Waldman responded: Because Judaism can teach us how to deepen our lives, to improve the world, and to join others who share the same high goals. In addition to promoting joy inside of us, Judaism can teach us ethical action and spiritual mindfulness. Ultimately, the answer to why be Jewish lies in the mystery of each soul seeking a place with others and with God.
Be proud of who you are and what you believe
One of the best ways to protect your Jewish values is to be proud of who you are and what you believe. We’re all taught at an early age to be modest and self- conscious, and while this is important, it’s even more important to be proud of who you are and what you believe. It’s great when other people admire your faith, but it’s even more important to admire yourself for being the person you are today. If you are proud of who you are and what you believe, people will respect you more. If you’re not proud of who you are and what you believe, people will respect you less. Don’t let the latter happen to you. Be proud of who you are and what you believe, and if you see others doing the same, you’ll know that you have some support in the community.
Don’t be afraid to share your own stories
One of the best ways to protect your Jewish values is to be bold and share your own stories. Many people are interested in learning more about other cultures, and in some cases, actively seek out information about other cultures. However, before you share your stories, make sure you’re comfortable with who you are and what you believe. Be confident in who you are and what you believe, and share that confidence with the world.
Be willing to share your life story, experiences, and beliefs, and if you’re nervous about doing so, just remember that there are people out there that want to hear them as much as you want to share them. If you’re not comfortable sharing your stories, or you want to keep some information hush-hush, feel free to use discretion. Remember, people are people, and everyone has a right to their own story.
Samuel Waldman writes and speaks frequently on subjects that span the spectrum from principal beliefs of Judaism to modern environmental issues. In his book “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”, Samuel Waldman presents a ground-up approach to Judaism, bringing a fresh perspective that challenges and educates readers from every background and skill level. From yeshivah students to university professors, this book is an easily readable, eminently eye-opening look at subjects like the divine origin of Torah, understanding the Holocaust and human suffering, G-d’s foreknowledge vs. our free will, amongst others.
Help those in need, especially when you can
If there is something you can do for others, even for a single hour, please do. The world is full of need and darkness, and often, the only thing that someone feels able to do for another person is give them a little bit of light and happiness. Helping others is a great way to protect your Jewish values, as well as add to your character. You’re more likely to be heard and respected when you step up to the plate and do something for others. If you are in a position where you can help, even for a single hour, please do. You’ll be more likely to get a positive response and a small smile in return if you do.
In a changing world where political correctness no longer exists, it’s good to remember that our personal assumptions are our most powerful tools in fighting back against intolerance and discrimination.