THE BLOG
03/24/2016 09:58 am ET Updated Mar 25, 2017

The Divisive HOW

There is One God. All monotheistic religions agree on that. Since this is so, it must be the same God, no? We are all worshiping the same God.

If that is so, how come there are religious wars?

Notice the engulfing war developing between Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims. Or, in the painful past, of Christians against the Jews during the inquisition.

How can it be?

The reason for the struggle, for the wars, the killing and the dying, is not because of WHOM we worship, nor WHY we worship, but because of HOW we worship. That is all.

Imagine how many people die, are murdered, burned because of HOW they worship.

Why should anyone care if you rest on Friday, Saturday or Sunday?

Why should it be so important if someone is reading the prayers from left to right rather than from right to left?

Is it worth killing for it?

Why is it so critical if you pray facing Jerusalem of Mecca, or the floor for that matter?

Show me one, just one, so critical a difference that it is worth dying or killing for?

To make the point I went to church on Christmas Eve (I am Jewish). I enjoyed it. Enjoyed all the celebrations around Jesus Christ. So what is wrong celebrating anyone that has brought love and preached peace to the world?

If any atrocities were done in his name it is by those who focused not on the WHY and WHAT but on the HOW, by those that bureaucratized his preaching.

But that is not only true for religious wars.

Watch how many times you got annoyed, even belligerent, not because of WHAT the person was saying or WHY he or she was saying it but because of HOW it was said.

Sometimes we agree with what a person is saying (usually after we calm down and review what was said calmly) but still we do not want to interact with that person again. Because of HOW that person communicated.

Think about a person you do not want to work with anymore. You do not remember what the issue was that got you upset, you do not even remember the details, it was so long time ago, but HOW it was handled probably still causes you pain and anguish.

The HOW is extremely important.

We usually make the mistake of focusing on the WHAT and WHY and relatively downgrade the importance of HOW, when in reality, HOW is the most critical imperative in regulating interpersonal, international or inter-religion relations.

Take it to the extreme. Bismarck said: "Respectfully even to the gallows." Even wars should be handled respectfully or the disrespectful defeat of the enemy will be recorded in their history books to remind them to seek revenge.

It goes even beyond inter-religious or inter-country relations.

Try cooking without knowing HOW. You know WHAT you want. You know WHY you want it but without the HOW you are out of luck.

In marriage, as we get emotional we forget the importance of HOW. If the "war" is analyzed calmly it can be discovered that the issue as to why the War of the Roses took place is not really that important. It can be resolved in seconds. What is causing the voices to rise, and making people get ready for divorce, is HOW the other partner is talking.

Is it respectful or disrespectful? Does it communicate faith and thus give the other party a chance to express his or her points or is there no faith, no trust, and the case is closed?

Think Yiddish act British is offered as good advice to follow.

Always watch the HOW imperative. There is no real final answer to the WHY anyway.

Just thinking.