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Hertzberg, Rabbi Arthur

  • A large part of the problem, is that young people are being born into the world and growing up without much hope. And so, they become murderers, they become suicide bombers.

  • But, I know enough people in that court, through the years, to know one thing: There's always somebody who surprises you, who rises above what they thought they appointed him for, and stays with the separation of powers, and with the right of the law to decide.

  • Do the Americans want democracy in the Middle East? Do the Americans want the oil wells of Iraq and of Saudi Arabia controlled by regimes which are revolutionary, and which are Islamic fundamentalist? Mr. Bush wants that like he wants a hole in the head.

  • How can a rabbi not live with doubt? The Bible itself is a book of doubt.

  • I am a rabbi. I am an Orthodox rabbi. I was ordained an Orthodox rabbi, at the age of 18. I am writing a book on the Talmud, right now. This isn't being said, out of some liberal prattle: It's being said from the very essence and the heart of our religion.

  • I argue that the Talmud is about the constant struggle to understand.

  • I regard Christian and Jewish fundamentalism, and all other forms of fundamentalism, as the enemies of God - and I hope you'll quote me on that.

  • I think anti-Semitism is the meal ticket of the organizations that fight it.

  • I was one of the founders of Peace Now. I was then a resident in Israel... I was then visiting professor at the Hebrew University, teaching Jewish history. And in the mind of Israel now, and to some degree even then, I'm not quite an outsider.

  • I write to tell my grandchildren where they come from, and what their grandparents were up to, and I hope they will in their own way continue. I invite anyone else to listen in.

  • In mid-career, I was at one and the same time the rabbi of a major congregation, writing books, and teaching at Columbia. I didn't spend enough time with my children. Now, when I get an all-important call, I sometimes say that I'm having lunch with my granddaughter. And I do not apologize!

  • Look, the hard-line Jewish position is based, to this day, on the idea that the Palestinian Arabs somehow or other will either accept third-class status, or they will pick up and go away. Now, this isn't happening.

  • Moral values, if you want to use them correctly, begin with love of your fellow man. And if they teach, not love, but hatred; if they teach you to be certain that your fellow man is part of what the Christians once... when they wanted to beat up on Jews... then it is the call to war, it is the call to fascism, and it makes God into Hitler! Quote me.

  • Most American Jews came from the lower middle classes, and therefore they brought with them not a lot of Jewish culture. The American Jewish story starts with Ellis Island, and the candy store in the Bronx.

  • My purpose is to have American Jews look away from the success story with which they've cheered themselves up, and to have them remember the classical tradition, whatever it is.

  • Nobody is in the process of making any changes that we can be specific about.

  • On campuses, and when I speak to the younger intelligentsia, I am getting a hunger for the text - the authentic text for Jewish knowledge.

  • We are living in an America in which an Orthodox Jew was the ambassador to Cairo and kept a kosher home. America now, on Yom Kippur, semi-shuts down, including government, because so many of the administrative assistants are Jewish.

  • What are you going to do to preserve a tradition that is the peculiar and unique culture that Judaism inculcates? The American Jewish community is not going to survive by lining up against its common enemy.