Letter From Baltimore

Letter From Baltimore
Absent such reliable records of what\r\nhappened, how are we to know what did\r\nnot happen? Much that archeology says\r\nabout the written account represents a\r\nmassive argument from silence. The\r\nTorah camp responds out of the Talmud:\r\n"Ln raiti, lo zu raiyah" ('"I saw nothing' is\r\nno proof). Why would a rabbi disrupt\r\nthe social order of Ix)s Angeles Judaism at\r\nPassover on the basis of such a feeble\r\ngrasp of how history and archeology conduct\r\ntheir inquiry? What can come as\r\nthe encore for the New Year?\r\nPerhaps we may now anticipate a pronouncement\r\nthat archeology cannot find\r\nthe altar on which Abraham bound Isaac,\r\nand thus Rosh Hashanah, when Genesis\r\n21-22 is read in the synagogue, must be\r\ncancelled.\r\nOne last point: Wliat made the message\r\nso urgent as to require Rabbi Wolpe's\r\nsolemn pronouncement, on the morning\r\nafter the Passover Seder was celebrated in\r\nthe homes of Israelites all over the world,\r\nthat the Exodus commemorated the previous\r\nnight never happened? I listened to\r\na tape of the original sermon, which\r\nscandalized the Jewish world, and found\r\nhis stentorian tones, revealing long-hidden\r\nsecrets of fraud in Scripture, remarkably\r\npretentious. Time and again, he announced\r\nthat "truth" tiumps "false faith."\r\nThe tape also conveyed, in tiie questions\r\nof the congregants, the shock and hurt\r\nthat the sermon imparted. The only justification\r\nI could imagine for raising the\r\nissue on that...

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