Taking isolated negative experiences we had and generalizing across all people

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    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Sparked by, but not aimed at a recent post/thread.
    It happens way too often where someone will condemn an organization, profession, school, lifestyle etc. in very harsh terms and only admit when pressed that their opinion comes from bad experiences they had in their childhood.

    When we get on a soapbox to condemn, people chime in with any peripheral knowledge they happen to dig up from their cerebral database. Before you know it there are Jews lying in ruins. Wouldn’t it be more honest and accurate to get out there and say (if anything even needs to be said) that you had a bad experience, it left a bitter taste, and you would like to know what others think?

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    That isn’t at all what happened on the thread to which you refer. If I say McDonalds workers get paid enough, it doesn’t mean a fry cook abused me as a child; it means I think they get paid enough. You’re flying to overly defensive conclusions, most likely because the issue is personal to you.

    This thread would have been more timely had it been posted in the wake of those Chabad war threads or some such similar situation.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Hi Neville –
    On your first point, your fries example does not line up. You are saying I infer a bad experience because of the comment. What I was saying is that the OP herself claimed to have gotten her negative information about the teaching profession from her experiences in school. It happens often, I think and I find it disingenuous. ie, I had a bad experience with something so now I am sure that all of those somethings are bad.

    Secondly, the issue isn’t necessarily personal to me in the way that you think. If you notice my objection is to slamming klei kodesh. I complained about the misinformation, speaking without knowing and disparaging a huge section of klal Yisroel that is considered to be valued by Hashem. That was what sparked my overdefensive position. If it was a more respectful discussion that didn’t run the risk of crossing lines of hilchos lashon hora, you may have found that my personal feelings on the matter are actually a bit wishy washy. Had the OP opened with “is being a rebbe really full time even though it’s part time hours?” I would have posted very differently.

    Having said that, the thread was more to the general problem of people doing that, not that specific thread. We have had people rant angrily, instead of civilly, against organizations and factions which they themselves say are based in their childhood experiences. I don’t believe that that is enough experience to condemn a population of Jews, or possibly anything else, and was trying to make that point here.

    Lastly, there are few topics I hate more than those resulting in war threads. And I mean that wholeheartedly.


    If one does it it is called “prejudice.”
    Of course one should not judge a group of people based on negative experiences with someone in that group.
    However, one may use caution in dealing with them.
    Remember the story from the Gemara that the rabbi let a unknown person stay overnight at his house but he took away the ladder. (so he could not get down and possibly rob them.)


    Way back in 1971, when I took my first college course in International Business, we learned about self reference criteria. The surest way to fail in business (and life) is to judge every new thing/person/company in terms of what you have experienced in your own life. One needs to eliminate biases and examine things/people objectively.
    This is not an easy thing to do

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