I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Debating Tips

A recent workshop convened by the Self-Righteous Persons Foundation discussed strategies for responding to divergent opinions in the course of one’s work in the Jewish community. Attendees, who gathered at a conference center in Maui, shared one point of consensus: if you quote an ancient Jewish source, you’ll probably trump whoever disagrees with you.

Three quotes emerged as the most useful. pJM passes them along as part of our continuing series of Best Practices.

3. The watchword of our faith is “Hear O Israel.” It means, “Fellow Jews, pay attention to what I’m saying and recognize why you’re wrong.”

2. The Zohar teaches “the Jewish people are one.” If you disagree with me, you are responsible for causing disunity and division.

1. The Temple was destroyed because of causeless hatred. So set aside your disagreements and do things my way, or else the problems are all your fault.

Workshop participants agreed that the one about the Temple works best by far.

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