Thursday, September 24, 2020

Remembering the Notorious RGB

From the funeral service:
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt of Washington, D.C., compared Ginsburg to a prophet who imagined a world of greater equality and then worked to make it happen.

"This was Justice Ginsburg's life's work. To insist that the Constitution deliver on its promise, that we the people would include all the people. She carried out that work in every chapter of her life," said Holtzblatt, whose husband, Ari, once worked as a law clerk to Ginsburg.

Okay, a eulogy from a female rabbi married to a lawyer who worked for RGB. I guess that is appropriate.

But I do not think that the Preamble to the United States Constitution promised to include all the people. It said that ratifiers were establishing the Constitution to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity".

The Wash. Post remembers her by reprinting this 2004 Ginsburg speech:

I had the good fortune to be a Jew born and raised in the U.S.A. My father left Odessa bound for the New World in 1909, at age 13; ...

My heritage as a Jew and my occupation as a judge fit together symmetrically. The demand for justice runs through the entirety of Jewish history and Jewish tradition. I take pride in and draw strength from my heritage, as signs in my chambers attest: a large silver mezuzah on my door post, [a] gift from the Shulamith School for Girls in Brooklyn; on three walls, in artists’ renditions of Hebrew letters, the command from Deuteronomy: “Zedek, zedek, tirdof” — “Justice, justice shall you pursue.” Those words are ever-present reminders of what judges must do that they “may thrive.” ...

We convene to say “Never again,” not only to Western history’s most unjust regime, but also to a world ...

I am proud to live in a country where Jews are not afraid to say who we are, the second country after Israel to have set aside a day each year, this day, to remember the Holocaust, to learn of and from that era of inhumanity, to renew our efforts to repair the world’s tears. I feel the more secure because this capital city includes a museum dedicated to educating the world, ...

We gather here today, little more than a week after Passover, the holiday when Jews recount their journey from slavery to freedom. We retell the Passover, just as we commemorate the Holocaust, to educate our children, ...

The Passover story we retell is replete with miracles. But unlike our ancestors in their Exodus from Egypt, our way is unlikely to be advanced by miraculous occurrences. In striving to drain dry the waters of prejudice and oppression, we must rely on measures of our own creation ...

Okay, her Jewishness was important to her.

I am not criticizing her here. I just want to point out some examples of Jewish thinking.

She wanted to "educate our children" on the Passover and Holocaust, as if those were similar events with similar lessons. Passover is a Bible story about an Exodus from Egypt. Archaeologists have decoded the records of 1000s of years of Egyptian history, but no there is no Exodus and no Passover. She seems to really believe that she is descended from a Jewish Exodus.

She had a belief in being a Jewish judge, so that she could be a social justice warrior with a lot of power. She cites a Jewish belief that the Goy world is defective, and Jews need to take over and repair it. This doctrine is called Tikkun olam.

She was also an authoritarian. She wanted to dictate behavior to conform with how she thinks the world ought to be. And of course she was a leftist.

Judaism rejects Christian forgiveness. She joins Jews in saying "Never again", as they must always be plotting to avenge their enemies.

As the public debates the next Supreme Court appointment, it is worth observing that Joe Biden has promised to nominate a Black woman. Democrats usually nominate Jews. Four out their last five nominations were Jews. Christians have a different idea of what justice is about.

No comments: