Even if you have strongly held beliefs, be willing to read articles written from a different vantage point than your own in order to appreciate another perspective on a particular topic.

There’s an important balance here. On the one hand, there is much to learn from those around us, yet we are bidden to not fall prey and adopt chukat ha’goyim, the non-Jewish practices that may lead to assimilation. We can however draw from those practices that are ethical and moral, but must be wary of influences that may lead us astray.

To learn more, read this illuminating analysis entitled: “Prelude to Holiness” from Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald’s Torah message for Acharei Mot 5774-2014. Out of respect for Shabbat, please consider printing it on Friday afternoon if you plan to read it on Shabbat.