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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 21:03:05 -0400 Subject: The Wedding Tragedy--A possible start at a solution I of course was shocked by the story of a Rabbi being beaten up at a wedding for believing in Israel. I consider the shock reaction of his neice (even 30 years later) to be normal. It would be wrong to simply ignore such a posting (And I hope there are other responses) It is also wrong to just say "It is wrong" We must try and find a solution. I would like to try and suggest a solution from fire drills and rape resistance classes. Eveyone knows that fire can hurt and you must leave the building. But unless you practice (ie.. the fire drill) you might leave in a hurry and get hurt. You must practice responses---that is the lesson of fire drills. Similarly everyone knows that rape is wrong/bad. When I was teaching at the University of Louisville they were giving sessions in Louisville to deal with aggressive behavior on dates. They weren't just telling the girls to state >>I don't want to>>. The girls practicied various simple physical retaliation techniques at the onset of agression. In a radio interview one woman put it this way: >>The classes gave me the self confidence to react properly in a difficult situation. Without this practice I might not have had the courage to do these simple actions>> So there we have it...practice is an antitode for things we know but are not likely to do in charged situations. This suggests augmenting the Yeshiva curriculum (across the board) with How to classes dealing with people who really infuriate us. You see the solution is not to tell people not to lose their temper...Baruch Goldstein had little children dying in his hands...he had a right to be angry...he just channeled that anger in the wrong way. I believe it is wrong to oppose the state of Israel. But that is not how you cure someone who believes the state is wrong. Rather you must channel his anger in other ways. As an extreme example suppose people still believe in anger..couldn't these coureses at least teach them not to do it at a wedding. Think about it. The story of a girl watching her Rabbinic uncle being beaten up for his beliefs would be sufficient to suggest sympathy. Why mention the wedding? The answer is simple...it shows the animal like spontaneity of the people--they weren't just wrong..they weren't even thinking. I think if we encourage classes like this across the board (and labeled those sects who don't teach them) we could at least stop the severity of the violence. A fire drill can't prevent a fire from hurting you anymore than a rape prevention class can prevent a rapist from hurting you but it can stop certain cases and ameliorate the damage in others. We speak all the time about classes/groups etc. Why not have sessions on How to handle the people you really hate. We could even have a volley of postings on mail-jewish for a while with sources and other things. Allow me to conclude with one of my favorite stories about losing your temper: >>In the town of Rav Chaiim Brisker, The Rav Solveitchicks grandfather, there >>was a custom by nonjews to throw bread crumbs into the water wells on Pesach. >>Just think what JDL or Charedim would do in that town. What would you do? >>Anyway, they came to Rav Chaiim and asked him what to do. "Simple" said >>Rav Chaiim. "In every well with a bread crumb pour an inkwell (so the >>non jews can't drink either)." And indeed, that was the last Pesach >>that these non jews bothered this town. Well do we say every day....(If only) We had Rebeeim (judges) like in former days Russell Jay Hendel; Phd;ASA; rhendel@ mcs drexel edu