Reframing the Problem

From the Faith Angle Europe 2019 Forum in Côte d’Azur, France

Dr. Micah Goodman, Director, Beit Midrash Yisraeli – Ein Prat

Bss. Philippa Stroud, CEO, Legatum Institute

In an era of increasing polarization, what tools exist to help journalists, policymakers, and other leaders transcend seemingly intractable problems? In the Talmud, the truly wise man was the one who could articulate his opponent’s opinion as a discerning listener—and even better than his opponent. But in an age of fractured politics, most of us listen primarily to reinforce our preconceptions, encouraged by social media and artificial intelligence technologies that act as “attention merchants.” Bestselling Israeli author Micah Goodman demonstrates how, in the Talmudic tradition, those who taught not only their own community’s tradition but also the opinions and tradition of their disagreeing neighboring community were most honored by God. In this principle there is a contemporary lesson, suggests Philippa Stroud, a member of the House of Lords. Contemporary work on the UK’s welfare programme, she argued, was substantially elevated from listening deeply not only to her political opponents, but also to low-income families, homeless men and women, and triad gangs. And in this sense, ancient wisdom can help us recover the lost art of listening—even in the context of deep public disagreements.


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Reframing the Problem



Dr. Micah Goodman

Director, Beit Midrash Yisraeli – Ein Prat

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Bss. Philippa Stroud

CEO, Legatum Institute

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