Humor: Achdus Upside-Down
Recently, social media, public spaces, dinner tables, and even classrooms have been filled with raised voices, finger pointing, and Unfriending—not to mention Unfriending’s passive-aggressive cousin, Unfollowing.
(I’ve probably already Unfollowed you. You just haven’t realized yet.)
It’s hard to get along with our fellow Jews, let alone the rest of the planet’s human population, so here’s my handy-dandy list of pointers to help you get along with others.
Because clearly, we are not trying hard enough.
- Increase insults and name-calling! People will be more receptive to your opinion if you call them “an idiot” or “self-hating.” Add a shove or spit at them, and they’ll send you a thank-you letter for setting them straight.
- If someone says something anti-Semitic, respond with a racist trope! Two wrongs make a right, right?
- Insist everyone who opposes Netanyahu must be an anti-Semite. Including all the Israelis complaining about him on buses, in lines at government offices, and on Twitter. Also, your Doda Michal. And Israeli voters who support other parties.
- Attack people, not their beliefs or actions. If you tell people they are rubbish, rather than that their ideas are rubbish, they might burst into tears. Since crying is cathartic, they will feel so much better afterwards that they’ll send you shalach manos.
- Bring up old grudges. Including those based on offenses you said you forgave last Yom Kippur.
- Dig up painful or embarrassing moments from their past to parade before the world even if they have apologized for them already. Because you’ve never regretted anything you ever did, nor did you ever learn a lesson from your past actions. Cashiers make change, not people.
- Be condescending. If you look down your nose at people, you appear taller, and they will be awed.
- Use lots of sentences which start with the words “We” and “They.” Because that usually leads to people to grab each other’s hands and sing “Kumbaya.”
- Dig in your heels when people challenge your opinion. Save flexibility for your yoga class.
- Don’t try to see other people’s points of view. You’ll need bifocals—worse, trifocals!—and those are expensive.
I wrote the above with tongue firmly planted in cheek—and tears in my eyes. There has been an even larger amount of discord in the Jewish community in the last few weeks than usual, and it’s no joke.
The mitzvos of Purim are all actions which provide us with opportunities to develop love for our fellow Jews. When Jews show up to read Megillat Esther together in our synagogues, we don’t check their party affiliation at the door. We don’t exchange food gifts with friends and neighbors only if they are “our kind.” We don’t pour wine only for guests who share our opinions on Israeli politics. And we donate tzedakah to the poor regardless of how they feel about the president.
Let’s all set our resentments aside for this joyous season and beyond.