Life In A Tribe

The tribal approach to life emphasizes your group over outsiders. When Jews are in trouble, such as when they were kidnapped for ransom in the Middle Ages in Crete etc, fellow Jews would rally around and ransom them while Christians kidnapped were ignored by their group. Coptic Christians are slaughtered in Egypt and their co-religionists around the world do virtually nothing.

* The typical Christian reaction to terrible medical news such as a kid is autistic or has paralysis or progeria etc is that this “is for God’s glory.” The most religious Jews also believe that everything that happens is God’s will. Most Jews, however, would not react “This is for God’s glory” to a terrible medical diagnosis. The Jewish reaction is, “Suffering stinks”, and that includes when the air conditioning is one degree too hot.

The Christian view, in large part, comes from the example of Jesus. Jesus suffered. He was crucified. We too will suffer like him.

I suspect that most religious Christians, if hit by a drunk driver and still rooted in their faith, would ascribe this to God’s will while most Jews (with the exception of the 10% most religious) would not.

* Almost all of my buddies are like me in the following ways — depressed, not working in their chosen career, trying to get their lives in gear, in therapy, trying things that don’t seem to shift their lives, single, aging, aching, struggling with their weight and with their place in community. So when we hang out, we may enjoy each other, but we hardly get inspired. I get inspired when I hang out with my married friends who have kids and rewarding work and esteemed positions in the community.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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