Jewish Blind Spots: The Invisible Biases Threatening Judaism
Although the Jewish People has weaknesses, we are not derailed by them. It’s our blind spots that threaten to do the trick.
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Although Jews as a whole tend to be aware of our weaknesses, we are not derailed by them. It’s our blind spots — our hidden biases — that threaten to do the trick.
Like a retinal blind spot, we normally have no awareness of hidden biases; we fail to recognize them.
And like clinical blindsight, hidden biases can cause us to judge and act in unfavorable ways that come from unrecognized feelings and beliefs about Judaism, Jewish life and culture, Jewish history, Jewish Peoplehood, and Israel.
Many people find it hard to believe that their behavior might be guided in this fashion — without their awareness — which adds insult to injury and makes these blind spots even more alarming. After all, it’s said that “pride comes before a fall.” When you’re at your most confident, you’re also the most vulnerable.
Here are a few blind spots currently endangering the Jewish world, and what we can do about each of them: