Rabbi Avi Weinstein

Erev Rosh Hashanah and Thoughts for the New Year

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2009 at 1:54 pm

“Woe to the wicked, and woe to their neighbors!” The Mishnah that appears in the Tractates Negaim and Avot D’Rebbe Natan explains that if righteous one shares a wall with a wicked person and the wall collapses because of the wicked ones deeds, the righteous one also loses the wall. ¬†The Mishnah expands this concept to the point that one should avoid being in the company of someone who is morally reprehensible.

This idea would go hand in hand with the obligation to rebuke bad behavior and do ones best to not be complicit by acquiescent silence. “He said it, I didn’t.” is not an excuse if you let it be said without raising your voice, you are culpable.

Free speech can only work in a civil society if people are free to rebuke those who abuse that right.  Glenn Beck lost revenue as a result of his excesses, but Joe Wilson profited from his.

We all need to distance ourselves from people who result to personal attacks rather than argue the issue.

All that is necessary for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing.


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