Focus on things that bind

Focus on things that bind

I am tired to death of opening the pages of the Jewish Standard and reading yet another article about why the religious practices of one group of Jews is less legitimate than another’s. The latest op-ed about why it really is all right to hear women singing is one of a long line of articles in a similar vein (“On the question of hearing women’s voices,” June 7). There have been similar articles on practices during the nine days, kashrut, and many other subjects. Despite a sometimes scholarly approach, the purpose is always the same: someone’s practice is not valid, not based in real Judaism, and “what I do is better than what you do.”

The purpose of a community paper is to focus on the things that bind the community and all the things we have to share. No one should have to open the paper for Shabbat and read why their practice is invalid or silly. People take their religious practices seriously; no one is going to convert to another stream of Judaism based on an article in the Jewish Standard. They will, however, become offended.

The Jewish people have far more critics than we need and far more enemies than we want. Sniping at one another is pointless. This paper and our various groups need to focus on those things that bind us together. Our shared history, faith, and dreams are more interesting and worthwhile than our superficial differences.