Excerpts taken from Chapter 3 of Rabbi Brad Hirshfield’s book ‘You Don’t Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right‘.
“Because faith is can be irrational and extreme is no reason to think we should evolve beyond it, any more than we might think that we should – or could – evolve beyond our capacity to love. Love can also be terrible and wonderful, creative and life affirming or soul shattering and suicidal.” (Brad Hirschfield, pg 64).
‘A person can be both a perpetrator and a victim…compassion and understanding don’t rule out justice. If we can’t hold that possibility in our minds, then we are doomed to an endless cycle of people claiming they are victims in order to justify victimizing others”. (Hirschfield, pg 66)
“Turning personal or national suffering into a source for healing is never easy, but unless that remains our top priority, we’ll be left with a world in which everybody has a finely honed sense of how his particular past entitles him to undermine someone else’s future” (Hirschfield, pg 66)
“When I recognize that I am victimizing, I need to realize that I should be a little more careful. When she (wife) recognizes that I have been victimized, she needs to me a little gentler…we assume that because our behavior can be explained, it is acceptable.” (Hirschfield, pg 69)
“Religious communities help you go beyond yourself to care for other people. They help sustain relationships through terrible disappointments. As much as religion inspires acts of terror and viciousness, it still inspires you to go beyond yourself because you believe that there’s something beyond you. What causes such ugly behavior, whether in name of religion or of cults, is fear. Fear is always what’s behind trying to preserve what one perceives as the truth in a coercive, threatening way.” (Hirschfield, pg 77)
“Dawkin’s argument is materialistic, akin to Marx’s statement that religion is the opiate of the masses. All the explaining away along those lines doesn’t account for the power of maintaining an intimate relationship with the source of all wisdom and life, whether that is called God, Allah, Adonai, spirit, or source.” (Hirschfield, pg 78)