Sometimes we need walls

I have two comments about last week’s editorial (“Bridges and walls”).

Firstly: I think Joanne’s son-in-law’s invitation to a brilliant and righteous man is very laudable. However, I believe that the guest should not be asked to “share” ethical connections (similarities) between our two distinct faiths. Several faiths have adopted our unique Jewish ethics. The distinguished guest can describe his admiration and acceptance of them. He can accurately point out that his faith incorporated and canonized the Hebrew Bible (Torah). Besides Jewish ethics (see Ethics of the Fathers) there is no commonality between the two separate theologies.

In all sincerity, I do not mean to imply any hostility (disrespect) towards the guest or his faith.

Secondly: I share Joanne’s love of bridges. But I believe that bridges can only connect mutually loving realities. When (hidden or obvious) enemies are present they must be held apart by an effective barrier (wall) until they are neutralized. I recall in Homer’s Iliad that the ancient Trojans were lethally threatened by the Grecian enemy. They foolishly tore down their defensive wall to allow access to the magnificent horse. Their enemy then prevailed.

Jerrold Terdiman MD
Woodcliff Lake

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