Catriel Lev's Blog: VeHaShalom VeHaEmmet

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Catriel Lev
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Jun 6, 2010

My "Mikveh and RBS Atmosphere" Composition-Condensed Version

The complete version is found at:

Since a condensed version of my "Mikveh and RBS Atmosphere" Composition has been requested a few times, I present the following as the best condensation I could put together:

I present this to you simply as a very caring and honest private citizen concerned for the welfare of our community, who stands upon his integrity, and demands integrity from all of the leaders of communities in our city (as well as from all people everywhere), and who has invested great efforts in clarifying facts, and has exerted himself to "understand where everyone is coming from," without excusing any reprehensible behavior that has become apparent through the efforts to find the truth.

First of all, a condensation of the major lessons to be learned from the Mikveh controversy and the general atmosphere in RBS, as I see it:

1. Let us put our true concerns out in the open. It is only by stating the true concerns explicitly without subterfuge, and with true good will from all sides, TRULY wanting everyone to be comfortable, that the true issues are discussed, and that we can achieve an atmosphere in our neighborhood that is pleasant for each of us.

2. Let us truly respect one another. If the different sides will be willing to understand that, though each of them may consider himself absolutely right, each other side also has the right to think so; they should manage to produce the minimal mutual respect necessary to work out the respectful compromises necessary.

3. Let us make public integrity and basic honesty the norm and demand it from all of our leaders. No one really benefits if one side "wins" a political battle by perverting the truth. The true problems just reappear later because they were covered up by lies! No leader is expected to be perfect, but lying to cover up one's failings should not be accepted from any leader, or any person at all for that matter.

4. Let us not produce excuses for violating the law or practicing violence or intimidation of any kind. If one side uses such excuses to excuse their "hotheads", the other side will also do so; and a vicious cycle of spiraling violence and threats could result. Every community should behave in a truly responsible manner, clearly condemning the "hotheads" from their community who act in a reprehensible manner.

5. Let us truly believe that, even if we don't even like each other too much (though I hope that that will NOT be the case), we can live side by side without causing each other grief. We have a wonderful neighborhood, and a great city; let's not ruin it through spiteful fights against "Apikorsim" and the like.

The rest of this condensed version (including what appears here, and including a place for readers' comments) may be found at: