KosherTorah School for Biblical, Judaic & Spiritual Studies

Respect and Tolerance

by Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright (C) 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

Watch out! Today, they are coming for someone else, and you don't really care about what happens to “them.” After all, who really cares about what happens to the other guy? But, tomorrow is another day, and after they are done with the other guy, given time, they will be coming for you!

Sound paranoid? I don't think so. Remember these wise words.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Pastor Martin Niemöller

These famous words are even quoted at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. They speak about what happens when good people do nothing in the face of bad events.

We have to update this version, and make it applicable for today, 2015, in order to better get the message.


First the pushed gay marriage on those who found it objectionable,

but I did not protest because I did not care to defend the other guy's right of choice.

Next they came, and tore away the confederate flag from those who held it to be a symbol of their culture and heritage,

but I did not protest because I did not care to defend the other guy's right of choice.

Do you see where this is going? What are the next lines going to be?

How much further will it take for the final line to be written, which inevitably will be: “then they came for me, for this or that reason, but by then everyone was silenced into submission, and there was no one left to care to defend my right of choice.”

This is how freedom dies! Divide and conquer.

There is a wise old saying, “united we stand, divided, we fall.” Today, the powers that be make every effort to divide, destroy unity, and to create strife between groups. When we fight one another, we end up weakening, and destroying one another.

When this happens then there no longer remains any opposition to a real ruthless, and vicious force that rises to power. Once that force is in charge, kiss your freedoms and liberties good bye! And once these are gone, many lives will gone, as well.

Real liberalism used to be defined as disagreeing with another, yet fighting for their rights to be different. Today, this liberalism no longer exists. No one cares anymore to defend the rights of those who are different to be different, especially, when “we” disagree with “them.”

Intolerance is a poison that kills both the victim of the intolerance, and the perpetrator. Intolerance is the beginning of tyranny, and tyranny comes in many different forms, and under many different names.

Tyranny never dies. It just goes to sleep for a while, and awakens only when good people are lulled into a false sense of security. When we say, “it can't happen here.” That is when it does!

This is already happening, and it is running out of control like a mad bull. Intolerance can only be fought with tolerance. And this is one battle we dare not lose. For if this battle is lost, all will be lost with it.

Tolerance begins with each and every one of us tolerating “the other guy.” We do not have to like, or agree, or even accept what the “other guy” thinks, says, or does, but we do have to tolerate it, and extend to them the respect of their space to do what they do. “They” in turn must extend this respect back to us.

Live and let live. God does not need us to judge one another. God alone is the judge of us all. Let God do that which he does best. And let us human beings do what we do best. Let us show respect, and act humanely towards one another.

Even when “they” do not reciprocate respect back to us, this only makes “them” small. Those who do not reciprocate respect disrespect themselves far more than any others.

We show respect and tolerance for this is the right thing to do. We do what is right simply because it is what is right. We need no more motivation, and no more justification.

When we rise up and act our best, we raise the whole world with us. And this is what God wants from us, and expects from us.

Respect and tolerate, but do not use this as an excuse not to confront evil.


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The Written Works of Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright (C) 1997 - 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

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