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Unity - What Judaism Can Learn From The Coca Cola Company

Monday, 27 August, 2012 - 8:25 pm

Asked by a would-be proselyte to teach him the entire Torah while standing on one foot, Hillel Hazaken (the elder) replied with the adage: "What is hateful to you, do not do unto your fellow; this is the whole Torah, and all the rest is commentary. Now go and learn!" (Shabbos 31a) This famous story is an inspiring one, but is it merely a soul-stirring tale or does the story contain factuality meant to teach us the scientific DNA of Torah and Judaism?

The Coca Cola Company is a 150 billion dollar [plus] company that currently stands as the most widely recognized brand on earth. What makes this capitalistic behemoth thrive in the cut throat world of dueling brands? The truth is, it’s not so much a secret recipe in a vault somewhere that makes the company Coca Cola; rather, it’s the 146,200 employees who work in harmony and unity.

Consider the fact that there are endless departments within the company including Research & Development, Quality Control, Consumer Affairs, Marketing & Commercial, Public Affairs & Communications, Investor Relations, and so on.

Imagine the CEO of the company sitting at a board meeting announcing that his path forward is to close all the departments of the company and reassign all the company’s employees to Investor Relations. He would be removed from his position- yesterday! A company runs well only when each employee recognizes the contribution of his/ her department and does the best job possible at effectively furthering the goals of his/ her respective positions. Otherwise, a company will lack the multi dynamics that, when woven together, make a company into a power in its particular market sector. Specifically through inter-departmental respect, is the function of a company healthy and poised for growth.

Judaism is beautiful and powerful when all Jewish groups respect each other and see the contribution of their fellow movements to a unified Judaism. We are all one body that only attains our wholeness through each dedicated group working to achieve its respective unique lofty aspirations. Chabad is notable for its Jewish outreach, Mizrachi (Religious Zionist) is known for its devotion to Israel, other movements are recognized for their social services. Each movement has its individual signature achievements.

If all groups cast away their lofty identities and signature missions, Judaism would lose invaluable parts that, interwoven, make up the masterpiece of a unified Judaism. Our interest should not be to cast our respective missions away in order to blend in with the others; rather, we must respect the unique contribution of each Jewish segment and embrace each one for it. If we would each cast aside our commendable signature missions for a more [supposed] cohesive coexistence, alas, Judaism would lose its ability to function properly.

The above is true by individuals as well. Each individual is endowed with unique talents. Those talents can be channeled for the service of our Creator and to making the world a better place through one’s respective field. If the individual would cast his calling in favor of a calling he may not be uniquely suited for, it’s a tragic under-utilization of his/her unique abilities. A neurosurgeon can’t strive to be a Rabbi, and a Rabbi can’t strive to be a neurosurgeon. Success is achieved when the unique talents of each individual are fully maximized.

Love, respect and tolerance being the cornerstone and foundation of Judaism isn’t merely based on a charming Jewish idiom, rather it’s a factually accurate description of the essence of Judaism. 

Below, is a beautiful clip of the Rebbe, advocating the mandate of unity: 

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