[Post I’m looking at: Renting to Arabs, at My Obiter Dicta]
Like all of us, I am a part of many ideological groups. I am Torah-observant. I am Zionist. I am enthralled with the Torah and writing of Rav Kook, the Chasam Sofer, Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch and R’ Avraham Ibn Ezra. I believe in secular intellectual pursuits, and in earning a living, and in active, hands-on parenting. And so on.
But sometimes, the things said by people from my groups, in the name of the ideology I follow, are an embarrassment to me. And the things they do, in the name of the ideology I follow, are an embarrassment to me.
Not every action performed by an observant Jew, in the name of observance, is to my liking. I don’t believe in tax fraud, although there are Torah-observant Jews who do it in the name of Torah.
Not every action perfomed by a Centrist Orthodox Jew, in the name of Centrist Orthodoxy, is to my liking. I don’t believe in ordaining women, although there are Centrist Orthodox Jews who do it in the name of Centrist Orthodoxy.
Not every action perfomed by a Jew who embraces intellectual, secular study, in the name of that embrace, is to my liking. I don’t believe in training children to focus on dictionary-definition peshat, and denigrating midrash as a second-rank add-on, although there are Jews who do that in the name of this intellectualism.
And so on.
I don’t want to be their heter [legal basis for permission]. And I don't want to be tarred with their brush.
I don’t want other people to justify their actions by saying that my presence in their group justifies the things they do. Being a member of an ideological group shouldn’t automatically mean that I endorse every ideological action undertaken by its members.
But what do I do, when confronted with such statements and actions? I have three choices.
1) Ignore them.
2) Publically disavow them.
3) Create a splinter group, so that I can demonstrate that I am not them.
Option 1 is a problem, because it leaves the impression I agree with them.
Option 2 is a problem, because it creates strife and it means getting into fights I don’t want.
Option 3 is a problem, because it denies existing commonalities and creates more divisions.
So what should I do?
What should Republicans do, when they don’t believe in the actions taken by their own party, in the name of the party’s ideals?
Or what should shul rabbis do, when they don’t believe in the actions taken by their own shul or community in the name of the shul or community’s ideals?
Or, l’havdil, what should Muslims do, when they don’t believe in terrorism committed by other Muslims in the name of Islam, against Israel?
An interesting, on-going, problem.