When I first heard about Rachel Dolezal, the woman who masqueraded as African-American and seems to have falsely claimed she was the victim of hate crimes, I immediately thought about some of my own identity issues and the way I sometimes misled others after making Aliyah.
My father isn’t particularly religiously observant. But this Father’s Day I am thinking about something he said over and over to my siblings and me during our childhood that has profoundly affected how I practice Judaism and live my life.
Rabbi Sacks spoke about three main thought processes that occur in the minds of religious zealots who commit acts of evil. He said that although religious violence is most commonly being committed by Islamic extremists today, it can manifest in all religions.
Everyone would do well to examine these thought processes, so we can defend against the extremists in our midst. This examination would produce the side benefit of reducing fear, anguish and suffering on a personal and national level.