Posted on | August 4, 2009 | By Administrator | 40 Comments
There has been some discussion lately on the blog regarding the issue of “high walls”. For the sake of discussion, let’s define high walls as taking strict measures to keep what’s deemed good in the community in and keep what’s deemed to be detrimental influences outside of the community.
The benefit of high walls seems clear: they help preserve the purity of the community and to keep bad influences out.
It seems fair to ask, though, “are there drawbacks to high walls”?
Some have pointed out these possible drawbacks, high walls may:
1) also keep out positive things;
2) create a less welcoming community;
3) not properly prepare members for how to interact with others with differing perspectives thereby diminishing ahavas yisroel and the potential for kiddush Hashem;
4) stifle those community members that need/desire alternative expression;
5) not properly prepare its members for how to handle a situation in which they are faced with one of the outside influences that the high walls are intended to keep out.
Are there other benefits to high walls?
Are there other potential pitfalls?
Are there ways to decrease the potential pitfalls and increase the benefits?