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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tea Party "Resonates With Human Dignity"

In response to a " a dear friend who runs a large charitable foundation" and who branded the tea party movement "a group of racists, xenophobes and bigots," Rabbi Shmuley writes in The Jerusalem Post, Why the Tea Party resonates with human dignity:
Lost in the debate about the morality of the Tea Party is any discussion about its underpinnings in human nature. The principle purpose of government is to provide the optimal conditions under which human beings can acquire their most important necessities, the highest of which is dignity.

Governments provide many essentials for their citizens, from law and order to social services, from good roads to education. If it’s a socialist government, it may even provide cradle-to-grave benefits, or if it’s a more Right-leaning government, it may emphasize robust national defense. But the one human essential that government cannot provide is human dignity.

Dignity is something acquired through personal effort. Dignity is the human aura that comes through self-reliance....
Maimonides famously lists levels of charity, with the provision of a vocation being the highest. The Tea Party is far from perfect, but in emphasizing self-reliance, it taps into a hidden human desire to live a life crowned with self-esteem.
Rabbi Shmuley understands the essence of the Tea Party movement, while his wealthy, self-righteous and ignorant friend remains nothing more than wealthy, self-righteous and ignorant.

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  1. The good Rabbi has nailed it. Liberal elites are neither tolerant, or curious.

  2. > Maimonides famously lists levels of charity, with the provision of a vocation being the highest.

    For those of us not schooled in Jewish philosophy, can someone point to an online source for this idea in Maimonides so we can read up on it?

    Many thanks.

  3. I'm not an expert on Jewish law (or Jewish anything for that matter - except maybe for pastrami, pickles and knishes).

    For general primary sources:

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/jewish/jewishsbook.html#The Jewish Middle Ages

    I found the following post which has some give and take on the translation of the 8 levels of charity:


  4. I think all the "positives" that arise from self reliance as articuled by the Rabbi helps explain your post of a few days ago that even those on the lower income scale value conservatism.

    Self-reliance is our heritage. There can be no indignity in being self-reliant and poor. As long as people are free to use whatever their unique skills are to provide for their families, they can hold their head high and be proud. The welfare entitlement society, on the other hand, robs them of their humanity, their dignity, and disincentivizes them to advance their education level and learn new skills that will improve their lot in life.

    It makes me cringe to hear Democrats talk about how it's the government's role to "solve problems". No, it's not. The government's purpose is to safeguard and protect our freedoms so WE THE PEOPLE can can figure out how to solve not just our own individual problems but also the larger problems facing society as a whole.