Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jaundiced of Eye

Luke had this epiphany. 

We all say that one cannot be judgmental. We try to perceive people beyond their exteriors. We try to be open to other ways of life. To be a progressive thinker, one takes an anthropological view of other cultures and backgrounds, accepting it all without criticism or recrimination.
But being non-judgmental and tolerant also means accepting those who are judgmental and intolerant. 

I have seen those who claim to be more open-minded than me smirk at other Jews, whether it be for their havara or choice of dress or beliefs. This sort of mentality creeps into all avenues of observant Judaism, no matter what the choice of headgear: beeber hit, velvet kappul, black hat, or kippah serugah. For women: shpitzel, wig, kerchief, hat, or no hair covering.

That is why, I suppose, I cannot be considered non-judgmental, because I will not be thinking pleasant thoughts about those who judge, no matter where they would like to fall on the religious spectrum.

I recently stumbled upon this website of Doni Joszef, a cognitive therapist. His article, "Against My Bitter Judgement," has the same point. But his source is beyond beautiful. 

It says that we should become drunk on Purim until one is unable to "curse Haman or bless Mordechai." It's not about telling the good guys from bad, but that we do not judge. We should become that drunk guy who weaves about crooning, "I love you, man!"
There is a fine line between using our judgment and abusing it.Using our judgment means making smart choices. Abusing our judgment means making smart choices – for other people. We redirect our sense of right and wrong away from the self and onto another. It’s a defense mechanism by which we assign our own standards onto everyone else. Makes me feel nice and superior. 
Until it doesn’t.
This last line really put it over the top for me: 
Judging others solidifies ego. But it obliterates joy.
So I must learn to embrace the unembraceable. To welcome those who do not return the favor. To those who turn our religion into that of divisiveness, to still consider them my brethren. 

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