Thursday, January 26, 2006

Alan Dershowitz Fires Back at Marvin Shick

Marvin Schick's mother was a wonderful woman who baked great challahs, but Marvin didn't learn anything from her about the Jewish prohibition against lashon hara. Everything he says about me in his "privately sponsored" opinion piece is totally wrong ("Where is Chabad Heading To?" Jan. 6).If I had "written nastily about religious Jews," I don't think Yeshiva University would have given me an honorary doctorate. Nor would Bar Ilan University. Nor would I have been invited to speak to numerous Orthodox synagogues and organizations. These institutions recognize that I have devoted much of my professional life to defending the rights of Orthodox Jews at Harvard and all over the world. I have argued for the right of Orthodox Jews to put up eruvs.I have opposed holding classes and graduations on Jewish holidays, even those observed exclusively or primarily by Orthodox Jews. Virtually my entire family is Orthodox, as are many of my oldest friends. Moreover, only a self-righteous Jew would imply that only Orthodox Jews are religious. I attend a Conservative synagogue where my daughter was bat mitzvahed. It is a religious institution conducting religious events. I'm sure there are some haredim who do not regard Marvin Schick as sufficiently religious.I will contribute $1,000 to Marvin Schick's favorite charity, probably those who pay for him to have a column that no one else will regularly publish, if he can provide any documentation that I have "exalted marrying out." Schick just made it up as he has the rest of his attack on me. It is precisely this kind of internecine personal attack that weakens the Jewish community at a time when it is under so much external assault.Marvin, learn from your mother. She was a tolerant and wonderful woman who would never accept your kind of intra-Jewish bigotry and sinat chinam.
Alan Dershowitz

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