Hey, I wanted to briefly focus on another topic that has come up almost daily in the past 2 weeks of my life. I think there is a theme within the Orthodox communities of ethnocentrism. The Idea that "us" Orthodox Jews know better, act better, and are better, than the rest of the world as a whole, and even the rest of the Jewish world.
It's time for that theory to be eradicated. Wherever that attitude came from within our communities it just needs to go. Orthodoxy has the same, if not more, problems than the rest of the world. We have no more figured out than a non-Orthodox Jew and are no better people than your average "Goy". We are all equals in this world, and until we realize that we can never have an influence on anyone else. No one wants to be looked down upon, no one wants to hear from the Orthodox Jews, when all we do is talk down to others and teach them why our way is the right way and their ways are wrong. We need to grow out of that frame of mind, or no one will want to listen to us.
I am just as guilty as anyone else, of growing up in the Orthodox world and believing that we were above it all. It's what being sheltered and staying in our own communities will do to us. However, I am only now beginning to learn that my attitude has been all wrong, and I hope I can grow to understand that I am no better than anyone else because of my community.
I say the following with caution and not any sense of authority on the matter, and no offense meant to anyone- it's just something that came to mind, and I could be wrong: Orthodox Jews spent a lot of time in Europe sheltering themselves and trying to be above everyone else, and unfortunately that seemed to have a negative outcome. The only way to be part of the world is to understand that we are all the same. We are just as good or bad, strong or weak, tall or short, as everyone around us. Until that happens, no one will take us seriously and we will lose the opportunity to influence the world in any way, if we are simply ignored because of arrogance.