Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Asserting Appeasement

GoofBoy attends Jewish Day School where he learns (as Jews have learned for thousands of years) not only the Holy Scripture, but also the extensive commentary on this scripture. Part of his assignment is to then teach it to me. Recently we had a heated discussion about the actions of the Biblical Jacob. The question was whether Yaakov acted correctly in trying to mollify Esau or should have been more confrontational - and which path is wiser in life generally.

GoofBoy felt being agreeable was better then fighting because Jews have been so vulnerable they had to save themselves anyway they could.

I disagreed, saying that sometimes you must stand up for what you believe. I mentioned Modechai and Haman from the recent holiday of Purim. Mordechai refused to bow down before Haman, saying that Jews did not bow down before anyone but G-d. Haman, the vizier, went to the King and told him about the Jews who wouldn’t bow down to anyone and got authorization to have them all killed. (Welcome to the wonderful world of Jewish history!)

GoofBoy said maybe if Mordechai had just bowed down we wouldn’t have had any trouble. I told him that Haman was obviously such a bad guy (mass murder is pretty bad stuff), that sooner or later you would have had to stand up to him so better sooner then later. Besides, what kind of man would Mordechai have been if he just bowed down?

We kept arguing, citing various examples of both conciliation and assertion.

After forty minutes, he said, “I’m not giving in dad. I’ll argue this all night!”

I gave in, quite satisfied that he had unwittingly proven my point.

My little shtarker!

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