Farewell to the rabbi of tolerance

The rabbi of Sydney’s Great Synagogue retires, offering The Sydney Morning Herald some parting words of wisdom on the state of religious and racial intolerance:

“I’ve sometimes said that I think religion is a bad thing,” he says, “and people look at me and they think: ‘What’s the matter with this religious leader? Is he off his rocker?’ The answer is no. But what worries me very much is the use which is made of religion. There’s a great paradox. You see there are some people who have just enough religion to hate others, but not enough religion to love others.”

Full story.

2 thoughts on “Farewell to the rabbi of tolerance

  1. I don’t know if it’s fair to talk about “rising intolerance” in Australia because, frankly, Australia has always been intolerent. The commonwealth of Australia, as we know it, was established by declaring the land “terra nullius” or “no man’s land” and was followed by the genocide of, and continued distreatment of the Aborigines and Torres Straight Islanders.
    As much as i love this country, and think that it has alot going for it, it has a pretty disgusting history to it.

  2. I lived in Australia for a year. Everything seems dandy for the first month or two that your in a new community, but never in my life have I experienced anti semetisism or ignorance the way I did in Australia, except maybe in Albany New York, it was pretty bad up there too.
    Up North, people would ask me out of no where if it was really true that the Jews were cheap. ( I don’t blame them for asking, becuase often I was the only Jew they had ever met )
    But down south in Sydney and Melbourne things changed.
    As a new york jew I was responsible for the war in Serbia.
    Picking up a watch band, I was told the price went up becuase of the Jewish boss, “and well you know how those Jews are”.
    My boyfriends brother said to his mother, right in front of me, that his mother was trying to “Jew him.”:
    Australian people are fun loving, kind and helpful. Just don’t let them know about your Jew/Abo/Italian/non wasp self, and everything should be fine.

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