Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eilu Ve'Eilu

  • A student of mine was reminded via this cartoon of an analogy of mine that he recalled from about 8 years ago. This exchange ensued:

    J.J. - This reminded me of your book analogy. What do you think of his conclusion?

    N.F - Cool. It's exactly my analogy, that someone can say a book cover has writing on it and someone else says it's blank. And they're both right...because one's looking at the front cover and the other's looking at the back cover. That's my (one) take on the truth of "Eilu ve'eilu divreiElokim chayim."

    I'm not sure of his conclusion. What's the big difference if they're looking at each other if the fact is that they're not listing, and are sure that what they see is all there is? (That attitude reminds me of when people go to a restaurant, or have a date, or see a T.V. show and don't like it and therefore decide it's always bad.

    J.J. - I didn't really understand what the difference was either.


Blogger Rivky said...

hi rabbi! it's rivky stern, hope you're doing well.

i think there's an important distinction. when you're looking and literally seeing different things, then you can be convinced that maybe you're not seeing the full picture and there's something you are missing. the dialogue is still based upon something important.

however, when you aren't even looking, you aren't even attempting to pretend that your argument is based on rational thought whatsoever. those arguments are much more dangerous.

March 23, 2011 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

That's a good, sensible take,Rivky - much appreciated.

March 23, 2011 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger kishke said...

I think many arguments are based on a disagreement regarding the definition of "black" and "white".

Others derive from factors completely unrelated to the matter at issue - greed, dislike, jilted feelings, etc. Very few are conducted on the basis of purely rational discourse.

March 24, 2011 at 12:55 PM  

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