(This is the kind of post that DovBear will like.)
My wife (may she live and be well!) was at our children's yeshiva (school) and was confronted by a major community leader and rabbi...."Mrs. Akiva, I understand you're family was our-sub-sect, then you married your husband (implied, not-our-sub-sect-type, G-d help us!), what happened?", he asked in earnest.
My wife answered, "Ask the Abister (yiddish for Almighty)!".
"Huh?" he replied.
"Ask the Abister, the maker of all shidduchim (matches). Doesn't it say in the Gemora (Talmud) that 40 days before a child is born a Bat Kol (a heavenly voice) calls out and declares 'the son of so-and-so will be married to the daughter of so-and-so'? You want to know how I ended up married-to and part-of my-husbands-sub-sect? Go ask the matchmaker in Heaven!" said my wife.
No answer, he was just a bit stunned. And I'm very proud to be married to her.
Unfortunately, when the Yetzer Hara (the evil inclination) comes to those occupied with Torah and mitzvot, he doesn't come and say 'go steal' or 'eat non-kosher food' (for observant Jews). He looks for the points of weakness...'they're not your sub-sect, they're not your people or group or ...', they're the other and therefore must be less than us, or doing it wrong.
Love for your fellow, consideration for the good and G-dly image of all of us, is the antidote to much evil, a great and unbelievable power if actually utilized.
I have learned so much and seen so much good living in different communities, having an opportunity to interact with a wide variety of orthodox Jewish sub-sects (and others was well) Unfortunately, many have not and have a limited view of what's the right path (their own path of course). This is a weakness that is frequently exploited and is the opposite of Achus (Unity).
When people stand together, with one heart and one mind (especially pertitent coming to the holiday of Shavuos), they can accomplish tremendous things.
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