Deep Question

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    A friend of mine just asked me the following question:

    If you could tell a person only three things about your culture, what would they be?


    our modesty,our family values,our emphasis on good character traits.







    Sorry for the all caps everyone. I am mad at the mod for not putting it through the first time.


    Torah, Avodah, Gemillas chassadim.


    i agree with eclipse


    Our innate sense of doing chessed, and having good middos

    our love of family and tradition,

    Our spirituality


    I have one more thing to add – our thirst for knowledge and learning in all areas


    speech, look on the face, way of walking! good enough?


    R’ Chaim, The Rov and R’ Bourch Ber.

    Dave Hirsch

    Torah: Judaism is truly the only religion with a book of laws (and millions of them) that guide your way of life. The Jewish culture is all about the Torah. We believe that the world was created because of the Torah and everything revolves around the Torah.

    Derech Eretz: Yaffa Torah Im Derech Eretz is a major factor. The Chachamim stress on Derech Eretz and make it a basis for our culture. While the secular world recently invented ethics, Jews had it since the giving of the Torah. Kibud Av V’Em is actually one type of Derech Eretz. Our entire focus is Derech Eretz (Chillul Hashem) and even the Torah had it in mind (D’racheha Darkei Noam). A Jew can be seen from the far because of Derech Eretz.

    Gemilas Chasadim: One of the three pillars that supports the world and one of the three things the Gemara hails the Jewish nation. Gemilas Chasadim is in our fiber. Take a look at the thousands of Jewish organizations, look at how one Jew would do anything to help another. It’s an amazing part embedded in our culture.

    I would say other things first such as Emunah & Bitachon, Areivim, Olam Habah, Schar V’Onesh, Mashiach, Eretz Yisroel, Simchas HaChaim, Mistapek B’Miut but I chose those that an outsider will recognize and be astounded. Every Goy can tell you they have faith etc. but they don’t know what faith is. It isn’t that easy to explain. Those three are explainable and obvious.


    1. Striving to gain closeness to G-d (through striving to fear and love G-d. Avoiding aveiros…)

    2. Loving all mankind and loving your friend as yourself

    3. Being a light unto the nations.


    Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax and Art Shamsky.

    Oops. Wrong thread.


    pba- You’d leave out kugel? Please tell me you’re kidding.

    1. Modeh Ani- I think it says a lot about us as a people and how important appreciation and being thankful and general hakaras hatov is to us.

    2. Shabbos- I would talk about the whole idea to take an entire day to connect to Hashem. Also ties into the idea that Shabbos is M’ayn Olam Habbah

    3. Tefilla/Power of a Neshama- how “just anyone” can accomplish the greatest feats by davening, and the great nachas Hashem has when we do something to come closer to Him, whether Tefilla or a Mitzvah. Also ties into how much Hashem loves His children, that He listens to us.


    One of the chevra

    I think this thread is one of the oldest ever posted: It goes back about 1900 years to the time of the Gemoro in the name of the Nevi’im.

    See Gemoro Makos 24A:

    YESHAYA, then came and reduced them to SIX [33. 15]…

    MICHA, came and reduced them to THREE[6. 8]: “He hath told thee, O man, what is good; and what the Lord doth re quire of thee: (nothing) but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God.” “To do justice” means judgment; “love kindness” bestowing of favors; and “walk humbly,” providing for burial of the dead and marriage of poor maidens.

    YESHAYA again reduced them to TWO…

    AMOS then came and reduced them to ONE [5. 4]: “Seek ye for me, and ye shall live.”

    (So if your’e looking for THREE, then your’e stuck at the point of MICHA,…not too bad I guess).


    Faith, Compassion, Appreciation


    I think many of you are addressing something else entirely. If you meet someone and are trying to give him a picture of what a Yid is, you aren’t trying to tell him the underlying foundations or the basic Mitzvos.

    I would say, our connection and awareness to our history; our general goal and purpose; and one point of our way of life, say, the idea that we remember Hashem in all our actions. Meaning, that before eating we have to make sure it is kosher and prepared kosher and then which Bracha. When we get dressed, where we get dresses, how, in what order, and of course Shatnez and Tzitzis. We must watch our eyes and our speech.

    These three things are what make us stand apart. It is a summary of who we are.






    popa- i got a smile from reading yours

    Interesting question, my own thoughts would be:


    Self control



    In terms of a culture, it depends why you are telling him these three things. If I were to join a new culture, I would need to know how to dress, greet, and manners.


    Since it’s Jewish culture, not yahadus itself, I only need to say one thing:

    We are the only Bronze Age Kingdom still in existence in the 21st century CE. We’ve watched the empires of the world rise from the dustbins of history and return from whence they came. Some of the mighties kings of the ancient world are remembered solely as footnotes to our history. And conventional wisdom makes us out to be a culture of matza balls and blue-haired grandmothers.


    According to Daniel Boyarin, the underlying distinction between religion and ethnicity is foreign to Judaism itself… Consequently, in his view, Judaism does not fit easily into conventional Western categories, such as religion, ethnicity, or culture. Boyarin suggests that this in part reflects the fact that much of Judaism’s 4,000-year history predates the rise of Western culture and occurred outside the West…

    -Wikipeida ‘Judaism’


    Yes, that’s true, Derech Hamelech. If you need a word to define it, we are a family.

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