Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Very Weak Claim

12-29-2006
Letters
UpFront
Page: 03

Very weak claim

Sir,

- In "Aggada and Halacha" (December 15) Prof. Neil Gillman attempts to clarify Conservative Rabbi Gordon Tucker's claim of historical legitimacy for his position that Halacha should be based on secular humanism's view of what is right and good: "The hallmark of [Jewish Theological] seminary scholarship, from the outset, was the Wissenschaft (i.e. scientific-critical-historical) approach to the study of biblical and rabbinic texts, and which effectively denies that Torah was the literal word of God." In light of the fact that leading educators who did believe the Torah was God's word - most notably, Rabbis Esriel Hildesheimer, the Jewish Theological Seminary's own Saul Lieberman, and Bernard Revel - were highly involved in promoting the Wissenschaft, this is an extremely weak claim.

Baruch Pelta
Jerusalem

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