Benefit of the Doubt: Mel Gibson vs Heredi

I found it very interesting that the People of the Second Chance chose Mel Gibson as their latest Never Beyond Poster Series choice… but after all the controversy that he’s caused, not so surprising.

His first movie, Passion of the Christ caused a large uprising of emotions, followed by his anti-semantic rants which made him a complete outcast around here…. Israel that is.

Yes, I live in the one country that probably hates him the most.

And to be honest with you, most of that hatred comes from one particular group… the Ultra Orthodox Jews (Heredi).

His new movie, the story about Judah Maccabee, has only outraged them even more, and to say there is no love lost between Mel and the Heredi is an understatement.  Sadly, second Chances are NO WHERE to be found on this side of the ocean.

Which leads me to my question of  “Who do I struggle to give a Second Chance to?”

…and the answer ironically is: them. The Heredi…

Living in Israel, I have seen and experienced first hand the struggle to love and show grace to this group of people.  The very same ones who are furious with Mel for his bigotry and hate-filled Jewish comments repeat the pattern by showing bigotry and hate-filled comments about various groups outside of the Orthodox Community.  I have seen countless videos, news reports, and with with my own eyes have witnessed the wrath of the Heredi.

So what makes Mel’s bigotry any different than the Heredi’s? Is his hatred any different than theirs? Should I give them the benefit of the doubt when they are throwing their stones?

Although I struggle in showing them love and grace, I know I must.  HE sacrificed everything not only for me, but for them.

Especially for them. and for Mel too.

So, they both deserve a second chance. And a third, and a fourth, and a fifth…..  Because how many more chances have I received from HIM!?!

About Maureen Hochdorf

Writer. Editor. High Techi. Non-Profit Founder. Traveler. Sports Lover. Star Wars Fanatic. Tel Aviver. Michigander.... View all posts by Maureen Hochdorf

10 responses to “Benefit of the Doubt: Mel Gibson vs Heredi

  • Coenraad

    Awesome post. This is something I struggle with daily. I expect to receive second chances, but seldom feel the need to dish them out as well. I truly feel, within my heart, that when we all just learn to give second chances, the world will be a better place.

    But then the question arises, what about those that will then simply abuse the second chances given to them?

  • Andrew Ronzino

    Wow, very interesting take on this. Hate can go both ways. So who’s the one who’s wrong? I believe they both are. They both need to forgive and let go. Easier said than done.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Judy (Lazarus)

    Amazing post! I find myself wondering – not so much who is wrong or right but why I would categorize one as worse than the other. I suspect it’s all part of the same lie we were told in the garden – ‘you shall be as gods…’ – our Adam-born desire to decide what is punishable and to what degree. It is such a heavy burden, being a god. I know; I’ve tried most of my life. It doesn’t work…because I lack the one defining ingredient: perfection!!!

    The only one who has the necessary qualifications – Jesus – when given perfect opportunities over and over, chose instead to forgive and not condemn. He offered and still offers grace – even extending to those who killed Him with their hate, arrogance and hypocrisy….including me.

  • Karen Hammons

    What a fantastic perspective!! To step back and see hatred shared by both the offender and offended teaches us that someone has to take that scary first step towards the freedom that forgiveness brings. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Chris Tian

    This post ROCKS!

    It’s so dang hard to not hate the haters…then we become just like “them”…haters. Grace does not come easy for me; on the dance floor or in my judgments…sigh.

  • Caleb LaPlante

    Talk about perspective!

    Thank you Mo for jumping in on this poster. These Heredi you write about sound a lot like another group of legalists, the originals of sorts…of course, the Pharisees.

    And Jesus died for them too. Amazing. What love.

  • Joseph


    It is so easy to Hate and so difficult to Love and Forgive however it is Love and Forgiveness that creates enduring relationships.

    It saddens me that people, from any side, can be so shallow as to not see that we need to all help each other and be forgiving people. We can disagree and even argue our differences, but at the end of the day sometimes you just have to forgive and move on. Sometimes all you will have left is a respect your view is different.

    Good to see you posting again!

  • Carolyn

    What an awesome perspective! I am so glad that you decided to write this. I tried to be very careful in my post of saying what I thought anyone in any part of the Jewish community should do, since I’ve never been a part of that. How very interesting to hear your voice. Thank you for sharing.

  • Geoff Vincent

    An opinion from the Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles:

    Ch. 2:7 ‘… You shall not hate any man; but some you shall reprove, and concerning some you shall pray, and some you shall love more than your own life.’

    You will find it tough, but take a step back and observe people with emotional detachment. (This is a lesson I learned from reading Sartre, and it helps me in my Christian journey!)

    Peace be with you,

    Geoff Vincent

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