Beit Gamaliel

The House of Gamaliel: The confluence of knowledge and faith.


The World Needs to Change…for me….

Since the beginning of the pandemic, one thing is clear: people have lost their ever-loving minds!

Yesterday morning, I witnessed a bizarre incident at Starbucks. My routine is written in stone. After leaving my home, I have about 4 minutes to the first red light. At the light, I place my order on the mobile app. If all goes well, I pull into the parking lot, walk in, and retrieve my drink without a hitch or delay. It is clockwork!

Yesterday, while walking into Starbucks, I passed a car that was waiting to merge into the drive thru line. A car was behind her and did not want to wait any longer. So, instead of driving around the car (which she could have easily done with two open lanes), she rolled down the window and extended her upper torso completely out of the car. Then she lit the place up. She dropped every profane word and innuendo that existed. She was livid and just losing it.

Naively thinking that I could help, I even pointed that she could easily just pull around in the open lane. To that she flipped me off and asked my why I wanted to “be a bitch for no reason?” I just waved and kept on going. By the time I got my coffee and exited, the altercation was over.

This incident today, made me realize something unique about what is happening during the pandemic. People don’t want to change. They don’t want to solve problems. They don’t want to change. What people want is for the whole world to instantly change to accommodate their own personal resolution. The solution to everybody’s individual problem is no longer an individual issue. The solution to individual problems now becomes a global issue, and the whole world needs to change to make it right.

As has been pointed out on this site, the one thing most scientists agree caused the extinction of dinosaurs was their inability to adapt to changing climates. Adaptation and resiliency remain two of the most necessary traits for the survival of a species. Demanding society to change to accommodate the needs of a single person is as futile as dinosaurs raising their clutched claws toward the oncoming asteroid demanding it change its course.

In 2015, an Ohio teen committed suicide as a reaction to her perception of the world. In her final note, she penned, “Fix society. Please.” While I still am not sure what “fixing” society would mean. The fact is, society is what it is. We can enact laws, enforce laws, and criminalize marginalization. But that will still not change society. Survival of any individual relies upon their adaptation and resiliency to the changing climate. And that goes for all of us. As society leans more toward secular culture, a conservative Jew considers adaptation and resiliency–not how we can make the whole world embrace Judaism. And for those that think this is ridiculous, please reference the holocaust, when society decided the life of a Jew had no value. Society systematically annihilated MILLIONS of them! Jews did not demand society change and accept them. Jews adapted. Jews became resilient.

As we prepare for this Shabbat, may we take deeper breaths, calm down, and help one another. Life is too short to lose control now. Shabbat shalom.

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