Monday, April 04, 2005

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Every trait can be used for the positive.

The Talmud has a brief conversation about personal traits. What if a person is 'born with a taste for blood'? G-d forbid, will he be a murderer? Rather, all traits should be directed for positive use.

What of our person 'born with a taste for blood'. He should be directed to be a shochet (ritual slaughterer), a mohel (ritual circumciser), or maybe a surgeon or a soldier (the last two my ideas).

In online (and radio) discussions of the recent death of a major religious leader, about which has already been written and spoken about ad naseum, the blog (and blogger) Dov Bear has written a number of excellent posts reminding those (including many Jewish sources, even orthodox ones) extolling the (former) leader's virtues that the record is by no means a clean and happy one.

DovBear, my favorite online critic and cynic, has utilized his traits to their most positive potential. (Now, if he'd only stay focused like that, oy vey.)

Here's a few quotes and links:

Unfortunately it doesn't take much to be a great pope; so many of them were perfectly lousy. Is it wise to judge JP II against other popes? Shouldn't we be judging him against other men? Also, it's just not in my nature to uncritically accept this abundant praise. And the idea that we should apprciate JP II simply for ommitting to hate us really gets my back up.

The purpose of these posts is to balance the abundent praise and to provide some perspective.

The anti-Semitic-seeming events I keep harping on:

Beautifying Pius ix and attempting to beatify Pius xii
His jaw-dropping comments on the death of Arafat
Cannonizing Edith Stein
The offensively insincere and criminally dishonest "We Remember: A reflection on the Shoah"

DB's excellent posts on this topic here, here, here, here, and here.


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