Without placing blame on any particular party in the Gulf oil spill, R. Shmuly Yanklowitz discusses the issue of collective responsibility from a Jewish perspective. It is refreshing to get a perspective on a major current event without having to resort to finger pointing. The finger pointing is potentially important from other perspectives, but when it comes to lessons learned, perhaps better we observe what else we can garner from a tragic situation.
In this piece he discusses human fallacy, arguing from the Shulchan Aruch that while error is natural for human beings, blaming something on an accident doesn’t always remove personal responsibility. We should learn from the oil spill that we need to be more wary of what we do in our lives and minimize potential damage and accident. Our goal in life is to both do good and avoid harm.