December 2: Judging Cardozo

It has been unusually courageous of Nathan Cardozo to promote real educational openness from within closed and confined circles.

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Judging Cardozo
Sir, – Nathan Lopes Cardozo’s “Judaism – The art of bold ideas” (Part 2, Comment & Features, December 1) is further proof of his fair, inspirational and knowledgeable teaching skills. His full, true respect for his students’ intellect is rare. We, in turn, have respected him from the beginning of every one of his classes and lectures.
It has been unusually courageous of Cardozo to promote real educational openness from within closed and confined circles.
A regular column by him in the Post would be a crucially relevant and giant step in the right direction.
Sir, – I am disappointed in Rabbi Cardozo. That is not to say I didn’t enjoy reading both installments of his essay. He writes with a passion for bold ideas and articulates his arguments forcefully and eloquently.
But there are a number of things with which I disagree, and some I find unclear.
He writes “Halacha is the practical upshot of unfinalized beliefs that remain in theological suspense.”
Frankly, I cannot understand the meaning of that sentence and have no inkling whether he is in favor of Halacha or not.
Also, the only examples of great and bold thinkers he chose were people like Einstein and Freud, who indeed were Jewish and great thinkers, but were not at all thinkers about Judaism. He ignores Maimonides and Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
Finally, I was looking forward to the second installment to include bold but practical programs for the implementation of the changes he suggests, but found them to be absent.
Petah Tikva
Go to work
Sir, – The headline “‘One in 5 Israelis can’t afford sufficient food’” (November 30) is probably accurate, but it’s very misleading.
I must assume in fairness that the survey sample included the vast and growing ultra-Orthodox community, many of whose able-bodied males refuse to work, and up to half of Israel’s Arab citizens who refuse to work. Thus, it is no wonder that a vast swath of the Israeli public is complaining about not having enough money for food, medicine or utility bills.
Putting the ultra-Orthodox to work or cutting off their subsidies would solve Israel’s economic problems overnight. And if the Arab sector went to work, we would have a budget surplus.
All of this would make it possible for the National Insurance Institute to effectively help the deserving poor.
Kiryat Arba
From within
Sir, – Regarding “Israel’s ‘Purloined Letter’” (Comment & Features, November 30), more often than not it was the right-wing itself that caused its own self-destruction by either initiating or supporting the fall of the ruling Likudled coalition, whether because of territorial issues, this or that religious party, or just internal but fierce infighting and strife.
Overall, the record clearly shows that right-wing politicians have intimidated other right-wing politicians more than any leftwinger could hope to do.
So let Emmanuel Navon take another look at his party before so sweepingly accusing everyone else for its problems.
Hatzor Haglilit
Frankly Jewish
Sir, – Who in the entire world associates Barney Frank primarily, or even secondarily, with anything Jewish (“Jewish congressman to retire after 30 years,” November 29)? Gay, yes. Inappropriately connected with male aides, yes. A mismanager of the government mortgage companies Fannie and Freddie, yes. Loud, obnoxious and ridiculously partial, yes.
So while he may be Jewish, this has certainly not been his focus or why he is so well-known.