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BBC Radio 4:Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer - 11/01/2018

Early on in my rabbinic career I discovered that most people are uncomfortable with crying. I have stopped counting the number of times a bereaved family member apologised to me for crying at a funeral. “I’m sorry” they say between sobs, as if this most natural reaction to pain and loss is somehow unbecoming. This is why I was particularly interested yesterday In the News that the army is telling new recruits that it’s fine to cry. As we heard on this program, their new recruitment advert to be launched on Saturday, sets out to debunk the notion that a solider must always be stoic. Naturally the advert has its CRItics, I saw an article citing one less than enthusiastic ex-army officer who brushed it aside as misguided political correctness. It wasn’t always the case that tears were seen as a sign of weakness. The bible is full of strong heroes who weep freely and very publicly. One of the greatest biblical heroes, King David, was a famous weeper. He breaks down when his best friend Jonathan is killed in battle, and he is inconsolable when his son Absalom is killed. Upon discovering that their camp had been raided by the enemy, their women and children taken captive, David and his troops “wept until there was no strength left in them to weep.” Lest the reader get the impression that this emotional outburst rendered these men helpless, the bible goes on to desCRIbe how David and his men tracked the raiders, resumed battle and returned with their wives and children. Homer’s heroes are no less adept at displaying their emotions. The battle-hardened Achilles weeps bitterly when his pal Patroklos is killed, and he also has a tearful outburst when Agamemnon takes his girl. And Agamemnon’s tears flow freely, when he finally admits his mistake “weeping even as a fountain of dark water, that down over the face of a projecting cliff, poureth its dusky stream.” Rather than seeing tears, particularly in men, as superficial and weak, these ancient sources imply the opposite. Weeping is an expression of a well-developed interior character. Words are inadequate to express the full depth and range of human feeling. Tears flow when language breaks down. When dear friends of ours suffered a tragic and untimely death, I found language wholly inadequate to convey the full force of my feelings. To fight my tears would have been both a betrayal to myself as well as to the memory of our friends. Tears are important and necessary. Denying this most human of expressions is not a sign of strength, but the opposite. It takes bravery to cry.来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/18/01/BBC-Radio-4-Rabbi-Dr-Naftali-Brawer-11-01-2018.html