Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hillel was a Democrat

Rabbi Irwin Kula, President of CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership in New York and brother to my childhood cantor, posted the following in The Washington Post:

An excerpt:
Imagine if liberals would argue and teach conservative positions and conservatives would argue and teach liberal positions before they fiercely fought for their own truth. Imagine if “pro-life” and “pro-choice”, “anti-war” and “pro-war”, traditionalists and New Agers, secular and religious, blue states and red states, Republicans and Democrats…would commit to really learning and exploring each others views before arguing their own.

At the very least our debates would be far more intelligent and substantive and at best we might even begin to see more clearly a different perspective on reality…maybe even a hint of God’s perspective: “These and These are both the words of the living God.”

Mmmm...I relish the rare opportunity when the intersection of religion and politics does more than make me want to either gag or move to Canada.

6 comments:

The Pedant said...

But Shammai was more fun to hang out with.

harley said...

Reminds me of the Reacting to the Past pedagogy: http://barnard.columbia.edu/reacting/

Anonymous said...

I'll agree that it would be a much more refreshing debate, but I'm not sure how you jump from that to the statement Hillel was a Democrat. Both Democrats and Republicans are ideologues much too often for either of them to claim Hillel.

Duchess said...

It was a felicitous statement, Anonymous. Speaking of which, what makes you so reticent to take ownership of your opinion?

harley said...

Anonymous should feel free to post here without labeling him or herself. Yes, the anonymity of the internet can be abused, but it can also let people express opinions that they may otherwise be unsure or nervouse to express, given their social or cultural context. That kind of experimentation can further intellectual dialogue, when allowed. And effectively, as we all use pseudonyms, we are anonymous, as well.

The Autodidact said...

I must differ with you, harley. Anonymity on the Internet IS abused. I have rarely, if ever, seen good, productive comments on blogs from "Anonymous". Instead, readers say things they would not think of uttering if it could be traced back to them. Also, there is a slight difference between what the authors of this blog do and a commenter who clicks "Anonymous". We choose pseudonyms and we stick to them. None of us will post on this blog under some other name, nor will we insert comments as someone else. I am Autodidact and I would encourage anyone who wants to join our discussion here to choose a name for themselves, if they do not want to share their meatspace identity with us. Blogger makes it very easy. Just click "Other" and type it whatever name works for you. I would then encourage you to use the same one next time as well. In this way we create integrity within our little intellectual community that is Jewbiquitous.