Monday, November 13, 2006

This is What Barak (A.) Said About Judaism

At a graduation ceremony of the Reform Movement in Israel, former President of Israel's Suprem Court, Aaron Barak, had this to say about Judaism:-

"Judaism is not made out of one skin (cloth). It has many different streams and different and counterposing outlooks. Thus, for example, if in the world of Judaism there exists of particularistic stream and a universal stream, it is but proper for an interpreter [he is referring to himself here as a judge who delivers a legal opinion on conversion, Temple Mount, etc. - YM], to adopt the universal stream, because this stream is more akin with the values of the state of Israel as a democratic state than the particularistic stream".

You don't believe it?

Well, here's the newspaper clipping from Haaretz, Friday, November 10, 2006, p. A10.

Now, what really gets me upset is not this outrageous opinion, demeaning the Orthodox branch of Judaism, as if it is not democratic, and preferring Reform.

No, it is his circular reasoning method.

In order for him to prefer Reform, he assumes that the state of Israel, whose character he has directed and channeled through his law decisions, is a certain type of state with democratic values that are only obtainable by rejecting particularism and preferring universalism = Reform. That's hogwash, you should all excuse that non-kosher reference.

He doesn't like 'particularism' as his own personal viewpoint and ideology that has nothing to do with facts and therefore considers it undemocratic. Moreover, he ignores what damage has been done to Judaism and the Jewish people and their peoplehood by universalism has done over the centuries.

And by the way, let's not forget how he ended up on this Reform platform:-

Former High Court of Justice president Aharon Barak has agreed to accept an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, although he is to write the ruling on a petition by the college, which is the academic arm of the Movement for Progressive Judaism. The ceremony is to take place this morning at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

In raising the issue, Mordechai Eisenberg, the chairman of the Movement for Fairness in Government, the ultra-Orthodox version of the Movement for Quality Government, yesterday leveled a serious accusation at Barak: receiving favors from a party in a legal proceeding.

The Courts Administration confirmed the facts of the case but said the ruling would apparently be written by another justice. Barak finished his term on September 14, and was succeeded by Dorit Beinisch. According to the law, the outgoing court president has three months in which to write the rulings in all the cases in which he or she was involved.

Barak headed an expanded panel of seven justices in a petition submitted by the Israel Religious Action Center, the legal arm of the Movement for Progressive Judaism, against the Welfare Ministry. The petition demanded an end to the custom of placing non-Jewish children for adoption with Orthodox families only.

Panel member Justice Mishael Cheshin was replaced after his retirement by Justice Edmond Levy. However, Barak still appears in the file as head of the panel.

Barak refused a request from Haaretz for a response. Legal experts who spoke with Barak yesterday said he will not be writing the ruling in the alloted three months. The Movement for Progressive Judaism said it had waited to grant the degree to Barak until after he retired.

Professor Barak, sir, were you being particularistic or universal in ignoring the apparent ethical error in your appearance?


Ari Kinsberg said...

a few years ago i read an op-ed by amos oz (in the new york times?) in which he urged israelis to support the advacenment of reform and consertive in israel.

it was obvious that he himself personally could not care less if israelis are religious are not, but he nonetheless would support any movement to weaken the orthodox.

Fern R said...

Hmm. Totally bizarre. I was raised Reform, and there was nothing democratic about it. Most religions are decidedly undemocratic. Self government has nothing to do with religion. Everyone who subscribes to the idea that there is a creator of the universe who set out certain laws for humanity to abide by is subscribing to something decidedly undemocratic. It's just totally bizarre to think that any one religion is akin to democracy or democratic values/ideals. I don't know of a single religion where the adherents vote on what to believe.

And since when is democracy universalist? Has Barak never heard of the tyranny of the majority? When an election is won 51% to 49%, the interests of 49% of the voters are not recognized. Nearly half of a population is not represented by the democratically elected government. What is universalist about that?

Basically what Barak is saying is that there is only one acceptable religious world view in a democracy. And the idea that there is only one acceptable worldview is fundamentally UNdemocratic. I am just totally dumbfounded that a Supreme Court justice could say and think something so utterly and unbelieveably stupid and nonsensical.

Bagel Blogger said...

Considering that he only retired on the 14th of September, even if he does not participate overtly in bringing down a judgement in this matter, I think it is:
Unfathomable to think he is still not having imput into this case.

Incredible poor judgement in accepting an award prior to the resolution of the ruling.

Surely he should be excluding himself from making any public statements on this issue whilst he is still listed as the Head of the panel and whilst he still is within the three month period.

Very poor judgement from a Judge??

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YMedad said...

Actually unadulterated pompous conceit.