Can We Talk?

Divrei Shalom

civilityAnyone who knows me knows that a longtime focus of mine has been on civil discourse and what I view as the descent of public discourse in recent years.  Some believe that passionate, vigorous disagreement has always been with us, and that our time is no more or less disharmonious than any other period.  I disagree. I am not troubled by disagreement. I am deeply disturbed by the hateful ways in which too many voice their positions and disagreement in our day.  What’s more, I am disturbed by the rhetoric and hateful characterization of “the other” – whoever that be.  In too many corners I see incivility growing. It alarms me that our children are absorbing the message that it is okay to engage in hate-speech and character assassination in order to make your point, or to win a contest. In Congress, on the Presidential campaign trail, within our Jewish…

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