The daf of Kiddushin 33 deals with respect accorded to elders based upon the pasuk “you shall beautify/glorify the elder.” It describes standing as a sign of respect. Suddenly, Rav Yochanan is cited as even standing for “Arameans” or non-Jewish elders. Rashi gives a cryptic reason. Rashi says that the non-Jew or Aramean is according respect because of what he experienced, his pain and the miracles he witnessed. What pain, which miracles and what experiences unique to non-Jews is Rashi referring to?
The Shikkerdovid would like to cite this Rashi as an example of universal respect that the Torah demands of a Jew. Rashi is reminding us that we cannot be “ethnocentric.” in our respect. We must be universal. Rashi reminds us that we must accord respect, as well as take into consideration the pain, problems and experiences of all people. Parenthatically, we should remember that Rashi is stating this, despite being witness to tremendous violence against Jews and his family personally, during the crusades.
As usual it’s a great insight. I think we missed this lesson all too frequently. Or where it should be raised by our sages.
Sent from my Apple Watch
Should we stand and give respect to ISIS? To those who want to kill us?
Jeffrey A. Arons, M.D.
No, we should not respect ISIS . We should respect non-Jews who respect life and others.