I can’t say that I am surprised over the reactions to my recent article in the St. Louis Jewish Light rebutting a local rabbi’s remarks about Moses. In retrospect, I should have realized that many readers would misinterpret my passion as personal or as politically motivated. I regret that, by not taking a softer tone, I left many unable to coolly evaluate the substance of my argument.
I should clarify that I was writing as an individual, not as a representative of or in coordination with any other authority or institution. I should clarify further that, as I believe my students will attest, one of my major themes as a classroom teacher is the primacy of respect for all people who aspire to uphold standards of ethics and morality and for all beliefs that set such standards. If, by expressing my indignation at a public demonstration of disrespect, I crossed over the boundaries of respectfulness myself, that only proves that I still have much to learn, even from my own lessons.
Having said that, I must also reiterate my distress that the same objections to my criticism were not raised in response to my colleague’s denigration of Moses. Why the double standard? Why is one verbal attack so much less tolerable than the other?
A broader investigation of the topic can be found here.