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MINORITY RULE

12/22/2017 09:32:14 AM

Dec22

Eliezer Wolf

In a court of law we apply the principle of ‘majority rule’. But sometimes, we ought to simply ignore the majority. Here’s why:

But first: we were all alarmed (though sadly not surprised) at the absurd resolution that was voted upon at the United Nations General Assembly this week. In a vote of 128 to 9, the majority of nations voted for a resolution that demanded that the United States rescind on its recent declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.   

But this ‘majority’ should be ignored. Because the ‘majority rule’ is a decision rule that is only applied when there is a doubt. But when something is for certain, then even if a majority contests it, it makes no difference.

For example: If we are unsure if someone is innocent or guilty of a crime, then we follow the majority of the jury to decide their verdict. But if at 12:00 pm, when the sun is in the center of the sky, a majority rules that it is nighttime, just ignore them.

Just because you’re part of a majority, doesn’t always mean that you’re not meshugeh!

History is replete with sad instances where the majority espoused erroneous bubbe-maysos. Majorities have voted against monotheism, value of human life, peace, fairness, civil rights, and the list goes on.

So if you’re feeling anxious being a part of a world minority standing to defend Israel against a barrage of anti-Israel madness, don’t be. You are on the side of truth. And truth will always prevail.

There’s one more key teaching:

We just finished celebrating Chanukah. That’s another instance of the minority prevailing. The Greeks were the majority. They voted against Shabbat and many other Jewish practices and beliefs. So what!

In the prayer we added on Chanukah, we praised G-d that “He delivered the mighty into the hand of the weak; the many into the hand of the few; etc.” Notice the singular ‘hand’ was used instead of the plural ‘hands’. Now, it’s true we were weak and small, but we were still more than one one-handed soldier?!

But that’s the idea. As a minority, our strength lay in the fact that a) we were fighting for truth, and b) we were united as one. Ours was a true unity, centered around a real value. Our enemies, no matter how many there are, a) they are a false majority, b) their unity is only centered upon a common enemy, which doesn’t make it very real.

So, here’s what we need to do: 1) Stay strong. 2) Keep championing the truth. 3) Unite as one, in a very real way. 4) Be a proud minority, and ambassador of the truth. Even a small light can dispel lots of darkness!

And one final tip for your own personal life: There’s a lot of people (and things) out there trying to teach you who you should be, how you should think, behave and live. Who do you listen to? Who’s right? Well, don’t fall for the trap thinking that the majority are always right. Don’t always try to win the hearts of the masses. Just be truthful to yourself. When you discover your calling, and live as you are destined to be, you will win. Win over who? Yourself. And that’s all that counts.

Shabbat Shalom!

Wed, December 19 2018 11 Tevet 5779