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10 November 2006 @ 09:17 pm
A thought  

There are those who say that the U.S. government’s decision to go to war on Iraq is justified by the fact that Saddam Hussein was a cruel dictator; that removing him from power was surely worthwhile even though all the other justifications which were advanced for our involvement have proved to be untrue.

While I grant it is absolutely true that, all other things being equal, it is better that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, I’ve never been comfortable with that argument. This evening I was again reminded why:

    Justice, justice you shall pursue.
    —Deuteronomy 16:20

On page 41 of Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s book, Jewish Wisdom, we read:

    They asked [Hasidic Rebbe Ya’akov Yitzhak, known as] the “holy Yehudi”: “Why is it written, ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue?’ Why is the word ‘justice’ repeated?”
    He answered: “We ought to follow justice with justice, and not with unrighteousness.” That means: The use of unrighteousness as a means to a righteous end makes the end itself unrighteous.
    —Hasidic Rebbe Ya’akov Yitzhak of Pzhysha (1766–1814), quoted in Martin Buber, ed,. Ten Rungs: Hasidic Sayings, page 7

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Peter Hentgesjbru on November 11th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
A good thought and one that is too easily forgotten in our world.
ask mevorona on November 11th, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
It's like "from strength to strength."
dd-bdd_b on November 11th, 2006 07:08 am (UTC)
I don't really mind the place he ended up at, but I object to the argument; it's clearly just a case of rhetorical phrasing (for emphasis), and he's trying to read something much deeper into it that's simply not there.
the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on November 11th, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC)
You don't have a lot of experience with Talmudic arguments, do you?

Matthew B. Tepperasimovberlioz on November 11th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
In which one of the arguments would surely be, "But what if there is something deeper there?"
dd-bdd_b on November 11th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
Nope, certainly not my specialty.

Do you think, if I had a lot of experience with them, I'd like the style any better?
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on November 12th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
Nope, not a bit. But we love you anyway.
the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on November 12th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
Don't know. I think you might have to grow up with the rhetorical style around the house.