First off, I would like to thank you for publishing such a high quality magazine every month. One of my favorite columns is “Words of Rabbi Eli J Mansour.” Last month’s article about empathy (The Empathy Effect) is certainly an important topic – and was brilliantly written – but I believe there is another level that goes beyond empathy – and that is compassion. In my humble opinion, empathy is useful in bonding with someone. Compassion is a higher state of awareness, however.
With empathy, we can take on and fully experience the anger of someone who has been wronged or violated. Empathy may also keep us in a loop of victimhood, separation, righteous indignation, or just simply keep our hearts closed to transformation. With compassion, we go beyond feeling empathetically what someone else feels, seeing through the present situation with unconditional love, kindness, and understanding.
We can understand someone’s feelings and response while still keeping our hearts open to the Highest Good for all without getting caught up in the story. So, inherent in compassion is also forgiveness.
Although I found last month’s interview with Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld on the subject of anti-Semitism quite informative, I was deeply disturbed by the suggestion that most of the anti-Israelism and Anti-Semitism verbal attacks stem from “left-wing liberals.” Unfortunately, there are anti-Semitism and feelings of anti-Israelism from both the right and the left. Suggesting that the Democratic party in the U.S. is anti-Semitic is repulsive. I’d expect that there may be some anti-Semitic Democrats, just as there are some anti-Semitic Republicans. But neither party in the U.S. is now connected with anti-Semitism, nor has either been in the modern era. Furthermore, many Jewish Democrats, myself included, find far more in common with the party that has strongly supported the rights of women and minorities – the Democrats.
The recent spate of vicious ant-Semitic attacks should not come as a big surprise. It coincides with another phenomenon unprecedented in modern U.S. history: open, anti-Semitism in Congress. The kind of anti-Semitic diatribes spewed by Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and AOC is what triggers violence, mayhem, and death throughout the world. It is mind boggling that these three hatemongers are still in Congress. People have been fired or run out of town for speech a lot less racist and hateful. They should be expelled immediately. Individuals with such an uncultured outlook in life do not belong in a civilized society, let alone Congress.
I was so surprised and equally elated to read Mozelle Forman’s article about the beauty and the need of tasteful art and décor in our lives (Artistic Endeavors). As she so eloquently pointed out – Hashem created the world in designs of vibrant colors and magnificent forms. I say this because from my experience, there is a terrible malady among some people that frown upon multi-colored and uniquely designed artwork. Hashem included so many majestic sights and colors, so many beautiful feasts for the eyes – that there really should be no reason not to decorate our homes with colorful pictures of nature. Our children should not grow up with the notion that there are only three or four colors to choose from – black, brown, grey, and navy. Dark colors darken the mind. If Hashem had wanted a world void of color He would have created it so. He didn’t.
I love reading all the articles about allergies by The Nut Job Mom, Paulette Cohen. I have a child that has food allergies – so I find her advice quite helpful. Last issue’s allergy tips when traveling was terrific. I would like to share with your readers another allergy tip when traveling – and that is to ask for a non-smoking room and make sure that your hotel doesn’t accept pets. See if you can get a room with bare floors, since carpet traps allergens. I also bring my own dust mite-proof pillowcase and mattress cover – but I know that might seem too over the top for some people.