Readers’ Scoop: Awareness Brings Understanding, Understanding Brings Tolerance And Friendship

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallDear Editor. I felt compelled to write this letter to TLS in appreciation for what this site has done for me. I am a Non- Jewish resident of Lakewood for several years, and until recently, my understanding of the Jewish people has been very minimal. I actually regret to say that I have had a negative attitude towards my Jewish neighbors and at times, employers.

I have interpreted Jewish behaviors, traditions and laws as insulting, strange and stand-offish.

However, I have been an avid reader of this site for over a year now, and I am truly amazed at what I have come to learn. I now understand that what I interpreted as stand-offish and snobby is truly an honest attempt to remain sheltered. I feel prepared about upcoming Holidays and am therefore not taken aback by them- I actually look forward to the entertainment they bring (Purim is my favorite).

And I have recently asked a Jewish neighbor of mine- what all the numbers represent- such as 1-10, 10-20… each time a severe accident or tragedy occurred in town. When he explained that complete strangers take time to say Psalms, I was moved to tears.

Thank You TLS for making me now a proud member of the community.

What I learned from this experience is how important it is to become educated about others before forming opinions. Awareness brings understanding, and understanding brings tolerance and friendship.

Signed- your Non- Jewish friend. (Otherwise known as not “fun unzere”)

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 15,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp group!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.

Check out the latest on TLS instagram

19 COMMENTS

  1. wow! thank you for such a beautifull letter! it takes alot to even respect a different religion, but to actualy sit down and write it- it’s impressive. May this acceptance of all types spread through out the world!

  2. Thank you very much. This is a beautiful and inspiring letter.

    I hope TLS can further enhance understanding between all the different cultures in town.

  3. Thank you dear neighbor for the beautiful letter.

    Indeed, we do attempt to shelter ourselves from the outside world. We additionally attempt to shelter ourselves from negative internal influences as well.

    What I appreciate from your letter is that “sheltering” may often be misinterpreted as “snobby”. That is something that we as a community, as a whole, have to realize and attempt to fix. Often, the same action can be received as either snobby or polite – depending on the tone, sensitivity, and presentation. Of course, we prefer the latter.

    Thank you again,

    A local Rabbi

  4. i totally condone anyone wanting to shelter themselves from another person or group. im fine with segregation in any form (be it religious or personal). im fine with people wanting to stick to similar people/traditions. im fine, and personally i think its beautiful when people stick to age old traditions, and customs.

    WHAT IM NOT FINE WITH, IS CONVENIENT LABELS (racist, etc) BEING PLACED UPON ANYONE WANTING TO DO THE AFOREMENTIONED. I AM NOT FINE WITH ONLY ‘MINORITIES’ BEING ABLE TO SEGREGATE/SHELTER THEMSELVES.

    1) Why is it wrong that a average white guy wants to live in a white community? But its totally fine, if jew’s want to live amongst only jews?

    2) Why is it wrong if a white guy wants to only date only a white girl, he’s automatically labeled a racist…
    but if a spanish/african/jewish/etc wants to date only someone of the similar lifestyle.. its “preserving his culture” and totally normal?

    IM FINE WITH SEGREGATION/SHELTERED, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT- JUST NOT FINE WITH HATE BEING INVOLVED, OR ANY ONE GROUP THINKING THEY ARE BETTER THEN OTHERS.

  5. thank you for that letter. I often wonder what our non jewish neighbors think of some of our “strange” practices.

    It is a sign of open minded tolerance that you make the effort to understand and I wish more of that attitude would be prevalent toward all ‘differentness’.

  6. Nice. Actualy when I grew up in lakewood 25 years ago we played with the not jewish neighbors all the time. They respected our religion and weren’t offended when we explained that we can only play outside and not in their home. My mother explained we didn’t watch tv and ate only kosher food they respected us and we respected them. We all grew up to be just fine. Things seem to have changed since then , I’m wondering why.

  7. Does anybody feel like joining in saying sefer tehillim for this kallah who is in very dire condition. I will start by saying 1-10 inclusive

  8. To #10: And I seriously doubt both your oars are in the water.
    Why do you find it difficult that it was written by our non-Jewish neighbors? Many people of all faiths and backgrounds read this site. And the points were well written? Perhaps your name should be Alte Farbissiner Lakewooder. Now I seriously believe that would make sense…

  9. this letter just shows us how important it is for us to choose our words and thoughts before writing and sending in a written comment anywhere

Comments are closed.