Menachem Bluming Muses: You’re Voting for Whom?!

It happened 2000 years ago. There was a plague that ravaged 24,000 disciples of Rabbi Akiva. The Talmud (Yevamot 62b) teaches us that the reason for it was a lack of decency amongst the students toward each other.

Commentators question how it is possible that Rabbi Akiva, who taught that love of a fellow is the foundation of the entire Torah, would have so many students who could possibly show such intolerance toward each other?

Their explanation is as relevant today as it was then. The students saw all of the future of Judaism dependent on interpretations and halachic decisions of the time. Because of that, they could not tolerate another person who had a different view because they believed that the other’s view would veer Judaism off its path.

In G-d’s eyes this was appalling. Even when you believe the other person is wrong and even if you believe that the repercussions of their beliefs will derail Judaism for generations, you still must never lose the dignity and respect that you have for another.

Even if you believe that another’s vote will destroy this country and the Constitution and the future of our Union still the respect and the friendship that we have with each other must be sacrosanct.

Mendel (Menachem) Bluming

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