We are a small Jewish community, about 30 people, outside the U.S. in a 3rd world country. We have no rabbi. One of the Jews here disturbs other members with accusations and belligerent behavior. Some in the community would like to exclude her; others feel that this is inappropriate since we are the only Jewish community in the country. What do you advise?


You are right that every Jew is valuable, especially when there are so few of you. Unless a Jew is a real danger to the rest of the community s/he must not be excluded.

In this case, this woman's behavior does not sound dangerous, but it could well be damaging. But that can be healed. Gather together a small group of friends and resolve to treat this woman with extra kindness and warmth, at least for the period of the High Holidays. Think good thoughts about her and speak only nice words concerning her.

It may sound far-fetched, but I know from experience that it works. Within a short period, you will find she has made a real transformation. That is the power of community.

Let me know if this helps...

...and since Rosh Hashana is approaching, let me wish you a good, sweet year along with all your community and all our people and friends.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman