What’s the new catchphrase in America and around the world? “(fill in the blank) lives matter!” Well, do we really believe that or are we just trying to fit in with the “in crowd”?
When we see someone who has “gone off the derech (fell by the way)” do we throw them away, publicly shame or shun them? Have we no mercy? Stop and think about that person and their life. None of us are above doing the same. What good do we think is going to come about if we shun them? Do we honestly think that this will make them come running back? I hate to tell you this, but it won’t. Shunning will only make them bitter and more hurt, and possibly make them shut down completely. Could it be that we are afraid of our own spiritual vulnerability? Do we see something in them that makes us uncomfortable? So, it’s easier
to cast them far away and cut them off entirely; out of sight, out of mind, right? It might be easier, but it’s not right.
Now, I understand that every situation is different, but I don’t believe that anyone is beyond hope and undeserving of love, forgiveness, and acceptance. Can we imagine the loneliness and isolation that these people must feel? Their whole world is gone, yes, because of the choices that they have made, but it doesn’t negate the pain that they feel on a daily basis. Have mercy! What message do you think this is sending to the younger generations that are watching this play out? Oh, yes, they see EVERYTHING and will remember it for years to come! Let’s try helping instead of tearing apart. The Lubavitcher Rebbe was constantly stressing the Torah commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Doesn’t that mean even those who are no longer on the same path or who have made different choices? What about those who have made mistakes? Naturally, they should take responsibility for their actions, and seek forgiveness from those they may have hurt, but it doesn’t mean we should cut them out of our lives. The Baal Shem Tov taught the following: “G‑d loves every Jew more than parents love an only child born to them in their old age.”
I have included two articles that I believe are relevant to everyone, especially those closest to us.