Christian Long

Rabbi Jackie Tabick: The Balancing Act of Compassion

In TED Talks on May 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Reflection by MUHUMMED B.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Rabbi Jackie Tabick:  The Balancing Act of Compassion

I would just like to start off by saying that Rabbi Jackie Tabick deserves the title “Rabbi” because she is a very compassionate person, which is what her TED Talk is about.

When I first discovered that she was the first woman to ever be ordained a Rabbi, I assumed that like most women who strive to break down barriers separating them from men, that she would be aggressive to get what she wants, but she is the exact opposite. Rabbi Jackie seems like the type of person who would stop to help a stranger or spare some change when someone was a little short. Rabbi Jackie seems like the type of person who is very compassionate. Compassion is defined as a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering.

Rabbi Jackie talks about her childhood and how Snoopy, the dog, was her favorite cartoon character.


because he sits on his kennel an contemplates life. Well I don’t know about you all who are reading this but when I was a child I just watched cartoons or read the comic strips(funnies) to get a good life or two out of it, but never had I really taken the time to read between the lines and figure out that there was a story in its entirety. Just from watching her TED Talk, you can tell that she is a very compassionate person who takes into consideration how someone else may feel.

Rabbi Jackie looks at compassion from several different perspectives. She talks about compassion from a religious perspective and from the perspective of an regular person. When viewing compassion in the religious form, she makes a good point, in my opinion, that how could we [mankind] even be here if God didn’t have compassion for us? It may be a hard concept to grasp if you are atheist, but bare with me. For an average person feeling compassion can be sometimes hard to control and I agreed with Rabbi Jackie when she said that because I have seen funerals for strangers, homeless people walking, and even when Ive watched movies felt sympathy for those less fortunate or just going through a hard time.

A wonderful example of compassion stated in Rabbi Jackie’s TED Talk is during the last five minutes when she’s telling a story of a rich man who thinks God wants him to make bread and does so, and a poor man who thinks God is delivering him the bread. God was simply conveying how people should be compassionate towards one another.


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