Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Will There Be A "Yeshayahu Leibowitz?" Street In Jerusalem?

According to Ma'ariv (Hebrew) there is a strong debate in the Jerusalem City Council on whether to name a street after philosopher Yeshayahu Lebowitz. It seems however that the objection is not rooted in Leibowitz's unusual take on Judaism (Leibowitz was extreme in his view, that you must perform Halacha only because you are commanded to, and for no other reason) but rather due to Leibowitz famously using the phrase "JudeoNazis".

Personally I think that Leibowitz was one of the most original Jewish thinkers in the 20th century. His Judeo-Nazi comment was certainly out of place (and think to our recent reaction to Haredi protesters wearing a Yellow Star to understand how terrible it was), but he should not be judged on that single comment. We should appreciate that he was a complex individual - and not reduce his legacy to a single (disgusting) comment.

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