Individual responsibility

Individual responsibility

My husband and I read and discussed the op-ed “When a Torah sage proves all too human” by Rabbi David Greenstein (Oct. 31). The final sentence states:  “[W]e cannot hope to  successfully respond to this challengeif we do not first confront it honestly.”

I am going to address this comment.

• How can it be that Torah is at fault for how we, as individuals, choose to act? Are we not each responsible for our own actions?

• The speech of one individual, no matter how high-placed the individual might be, does not negate the teachings, or the value of those teachings, of our tradition. The value of our teachings is not negotiable currency that changes when conditions or individuals change; the value is what it is — basic and unswerving.

It is important to emphasize  that we are each responsible for our own actions. It is also important to emphasize that, despite the actions of any particular individual, the value of Torah and its way of life remains solid. No individual’s actions can negate what is taught by our sources. We cannot judge a book by its cover or toss out an entire barrel of apples for the one that is not good. The wealth of Torah remains strong. It is there for us all.

Carol B. Shichman
Scotch Plains

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