That which is hurtful

At lunch a few days ago, with some professors, I asked a Jewish colleague about what the Torah or Talmud teaches about how we treat others.

(This was, of course, in the midst of a discussion about politics and our current American meanness toward those who are less privileged.)

He replied with the words of Hillel the Elder (1st century B.C.E.): “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

I love this inversion of what we call the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

The reverse is just as powerful: if you find hateful (or even hurtful) something that is done to you, then don’t do it to others.

And then there is Maya Angelou:  “You do what you can do, until you know better”.



One thought on “That which is hurtful

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.