Kudos to Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz of Congregation Adas Emuno for his timely, insightful article this election season, “Why We Need More Debates” (Oct. 19).
The article was both informative and educational, and I learned that the most famous debating pair in Jewish history was Hillel and Shammai. I particularly liked the rabbi’s comment and I quote: “My own study led me to the conclusion that worthy debate, debate truly for the sake of heaven, must contain three essential elements: sincere intention, deep listening, and careful articulation.”
I see a need for more debates. I believe debates matter in that they reveal a candidate’s personality, his ideas and values, and most of all pro and cons of the issues as well as their future plans.
If only our candidates would discuss opposing arguments in a civil manner. The Talmud teaches disciplined logic and learning and above all having truthful dialogues.
Sadly to say, I don’t believe they would pass the three-part test.