This is my blog for topics of general, Jewish interest, named for the magazine I launched in 2005. I have additional blogs for other areas. Follow on Twitter or on Google+ under Ariella Brown. Please note that comment moderation is on, which could keep your comment from appearing right away.
I don't usually talk about celebrities. I don't really follow what they do. But this morning I felt compelled to do a post on Gilbert Gottfried. I'm not breaking the news that he was fired from his job as the voice of a duck by Aflack because of jokes he cracked about Japan that could be considered insensitive at best and offensive at worst.. I'm sure you all know that already. What struck me about the news report I heard was the the company says it had a right to fire him because his contract contains a "morals clause," and such jokes violate that. Now that's something to think about. I don't mean that every job needs to add on a morals clause for people who represent the company in a public way. I mean that people should consider what a morals clause means before they act or speak or tweet. We all should have our own morals clause and live up to it even without a threat of losing our jobs. In other words, even if your job is not with a company that does business in Japan, it is wrong to dismiss the pain and loss of people. It is also wrong to just dismiss the feelings of others with "they shouldn't take offense." Ironically, some of those who make that claim take offense pretty quickly when the shoe is on the other foot. That's why the essence of Torah beliefs, according to Hillel, is not to do anything that hateful to you to another.
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