Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, "The Dignity of Difference", (London: Continuum, 2002), p.30
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David Hume noted that our sense of empathy diminishes as we move outward from the members of our family to our neighbors, our society and the world. Traditionally, our sense of involvement with the fate of others has been in inverse proportion to the distance separating us and them. What has changed is that television and the Internet have effectively abolished distance. They have brought images of suffering in far-off lands into our immediate experience. Our sense of compassion for the victims of poverty, war and famine, runs ahead of our capacity to act. Our moral sense is simultaneously activated and frustrated. We feel that something should be done, but what, how, and by whom?
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What is the reality Sacks is describing? How has it changed in the last 50 years?

2. In what way are we exposed to compassion fatigue? In what way has our responsibility increased? How are we meant to respond to these changes?

3. What are your answers to Sacks' questions in the last line?

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Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)