Saturday, October 1, 2011

Afraid To Take Credit For Your Good Deeds?

Luke Ford writes: In my Protestant upbringing, we were taught to not push ourselves forward too obviously. Always appear reluctant to claim credit. Better to moan and groan about what a great sinner you are.

By contrast, I’ve noticed that Jews tend to feel pretty good about themselves. They’re eager to tell me about the things they’ve accomplished. They’re eager to tell me about their good deeds. How they’ve helped the rabbi. How they signed the lease for the shul. How they helped the rabbi raise money. How they did so much for Israel, for the homeless, for the community.

“Are Jews more obsessed with status?” a Protestant once asked me.

I don’t think so. I just think they’re more honest about pursuing status, honor, sex, money, love and the good things of life.

Judaism is more at peace with the natural passions than Christianity. It takes for granted that people want honor and respect and wealth and love and therefore provides ways to channel these desires into good ends.

I find Jews talk much more honestly about sex and money, for instance. They have fewer romantic notions about such basics of life. 

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