'Harvard ideology inherently evil', prominent rabbi quits university panel - Hindustan Times

'Harvard ideology evil… suffering toxicity of intellectual slovenliness', prominent rabbi quits university panel

Dec 08, 2023 11:51 AM IST

Rabbi David Wolpe quits Harvard antisemitism committee says its suffering “toxicity of intellectual slovenliness”

Harvard University president's testimony at Capitol Hill has angered its critics even further with many calling for Claudine Gay's resignation. As a result, Rabbi David Wolpe, a prominent scholar visiting Harvard University, has resigned from the university's antisemitism committee.

Rabbi David Wolpe, a prominent scholar visiting Harvard University, quits university's antisemitism committee
Rabbi David Wolpe, a prominent scholar visiting Harvard University, quits university's antisemitism committee

In a statement on X, Wolpe expressed his belief that Harvard, through its system and prevailing ideologies among students and faculty, is portraying Jews as "oppressors" bit is itself ‘inherently evil’.

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Even though he believes “Harvard is still a repository of extraordinary minds and important research,” Wolpe states, the majority view at Harvard, "works only along axes of oppression and places Jews as oppressors and therefore intrinsically evil, is itself evil."

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Wolpe went on to add, "ignoring Jewish suffering is evil. Belittling or denying the Jewish experience, including unspeakable atrocities, is a vast and continuing catastrophe. Denying Israel the self-determination as a Jewish nation accorded unthinkingly to others is endemic, and evil."

For the student Wolpe had one message, “Build the institutions you value, don’t merely attack those you denigrate. We are at a moment when the toxicity of intellectual slovenliness has been laid bare for all to see. Time to kindle the first candle. Create that miracle for us and all Israel — Blessing to you and Hag Urim Sameach.”

This resignation occurred shortly after Harvard President Claudine Gay's contentious congressional testimony on the university's handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict. While Wolpe acknowledged Gay as a "kind and thoughtful" individual, he criticized her comments during the testimony as "painfully inadequate" in addressing the rise of antisemitism not only at Harvard but also in the broader community.

Wolpe is convinced that Harvard “is not going to be changed by hiring or firing a single person, or posting on X, or yelling at people who don’t post as you wish when you wish, as though posting is the summation of one’s moral character.”

“Part of the problem is a simple herd mentality – people screaming slogans whose meaning and implication they know nothing of, or not wishing to be disliked by taking an unpopular position.”

In defence of Jews, Wolpe adds, “In this generation, outside of Israel, we are called to be Maccabees of a different order. We do not fight the actual battle but we search for the cruse of oil left behind.”

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