It may be commonly perceived in many faiths, especially those of a monotheistic belief, that divisions and differences of interpretation often give rise to crimes of the most objectionable nature and aspect. The Ultra Orthodox versus the Women of the Wall is just another example in a long line emanating from what most observers would agree is an excessive amount of religious fervour.
It’s almost as if no one ever takes the opportunity to step outside these disputes and disagreements to observe them in a calmer and more integrated manner. This seems to have been true of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and any number of similar groups professing adherence to this god or that.
If Judaism (and religion in general) is not to become reduced to mere irrelevancy, it must seek to achieve a reputation other than that of intense introspection and rarefied debate; it must become more engaged with problems in the wider world and not reflect an image far too self-absorbed to be healthy.
And there are plenty of problems needing attention today, the ever-present Arab-Israeli conflict being only one of them. Resolve this and any number of others then become so much easier to deal with.
The principles of Islam and Judaism do require that, ideally, settlement of such a matter is to be rigorously pursued, its outcome eminently justifiable and not overly delayed. Such a requirement, however, has seen little progress and certainly no result in a length of time spanning well over 65 years. That’s equivalent to nearly an eternity in modern-day terms.
Why should this be? Does the human race lack the capacity to grapple successfully with a task of such complexity? Is there then some deficiency in our collective consciousness that prevents the achievement of so noble a purpose?
I mean, when you stop to think about it, just how difficult can it really be?