On Monday, July 29, 2013 The Jerusalem Press Club and Mishkenot Sha’ananim co-hosted a panel with special guests Dr. Mehmet Oz (America’s Dr. Oz), Rabbi Shmuley Boteach & Natan Sharansky on “Universal Jewish Values: A tool to Create a Middle-Eastern Renaissance.” The panel was moderated by Editor of the Jerusalem post, Steve Linde.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, one of the world’s most respected doctors and professor of surgery at NY Presbyterian / Columbia University, hosts the Emmy Award-winning Dr. Oz Show which airs in 118 countries, including Israel on the Good Health channel
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder of This World: The Jewish Values Network has been labeled “a cultural phenomenon” by Newsweek magazine and “the most famous rabbi in America” by the Washington Post
Natan Sharansky is a former member of Knesset and Soviet Prisoner of Zion. He is a champion of democracy and the chairman of the Jewish Agency, which is dedicated to spreading Jewish values worldwide.
As originally published in The Jerusalem Post:
A full-capacity crowd gathered Monday evening at the capital’s newly launched Jerusalem Press Club to hear a panel discussion among luminaries Dr. Mehmet Oz, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky about Jewish values and their impact on society.
Oz, known as “America’s Doctor,” and Boteach, who has been called “America’s Rabbi,” arrived in Israel together with their families on Sunday for a weeklong visit sponsored by business mogul and philanthropist Sheldon G. Adelson.
“You’re catching me at the end of a truly life-changing day,” said Oz of his first trip to the country. “What changed my life is traveling through a country that has been traumatized, yet sees so much hope.”
Oz, who is of Turkish descent, said he believed that “Jewish values” are responsible for offering humanity and hope in an otherwise chaotic region.
“Jewish values have permeated all of [Israeli] society,” he said, “values that we teach our children.”
Oz continued, “Hope is not hoping the diagnosis is good; hope is finding understanding.”
Sharansky – perhaps the world’s most famous Soviet refusnik – said that while he was incarcerated by the KGB and faced death, he found hope by dreaming of freedom and “belonging.”
“Hope can’t exist if you deprive others of their freedom,” said Sharansky. “Tikkun olam (healing the world) is the only way to heal and find meaning.”
“Healing means contextualizing the wound,” Boteach added. “I still don’t think politicians will bring peace [in Israel] – doctors, rabbis and humanitarians will bring peace. It will be grassroots that bring us together so we can contextualize what is going on.”
Citing the Hippocratic Oath, Oz emphasized the “civic responsibility” all of humanity have to one another, which he said is all too often abdicated by society.
“I’m not a Middle East expert, but I know a lot about healing,” the doctor said.
“When good people watch bad things happen, society deteriorates.”
On the subject of hate, Boteach said Judaism is one of the only religions in the world that values hatred.
“Why should hatred be a virtue?” he asked. “Because I don’t believe you can truly love unless you hate people who commit genocide.”
Citing Hamas, Hezbollah and the genocide in Syria, Boteach said “there’s room for hatred.”
“If you don’t hate evil people, then how do you stop them?” he asked. “They should make your blood boil.”
With respect to good and evil, Boteach said the Jewish definition of both is “repetition” of either.
“When you do evil repeatedly, without conscience, you are no longer someone who did evil – you have become the evil,” he said. “The same is true of good. If you do it enough it becomes second nature.”
Still, Oz noted the self-damaging nature of hatred.
“Hatred hurts you more than [your enemies],” he said.
“When you hate, you’re sapping yourself – you’re so consumed with hate that you can’t show up for your own life.”
Sharansky said he defined evil as the deprivation of freedom.Watch Sugarbabies (2015) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
“Evil is that which deprives you from being in the image of God.”
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