Re: A Jewish forgetting of Ben Franklin (Jan. 19)


A few years ago, while reading Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, I remember thinking what a mensch he was in describing his method of self-improvement. After reading Afsai’s article, I recognized a parallel structure of thinking in the Boy Scout Law: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. These points were inspired from Japanese Samurai, Native American, European Knights and southern African Zulu traditions. A similar Law is observed by the Girl Scouts: Honest, fair, friendly, helpful, considerate, caring, courageous, strong, responsible, respectful, using resources wisely, making the world a better place and being a sister to every Girl Scout. The Jewish traditions of “Tikkun Olam (repairing the world)” and “Loving your neighbor as yourself” preceded all the rest. Throughout all times and in all parts of the world, Man has aspired to the best instincts for peaceful coexistence. Unfortunately, they have not always prevailed

If each person applied him(her)self to these lofty goals, the world would be a better place.

Marvin S. Wasser, M.D.

Cranston, RI