Sunday, March 23, 2008

Analytical Brilliance

I thought Professor Noah Feldman's piece " Why Shariah" in the New York Times magazine was a fascinating read . His analytical erudition sparkles with an in depth understanding of the factual history/emotional/spiritual behaviour/ interactions & realistic reactions that govern the intimate relationship religion(in this case muslim law) and common law might enjoy if they understood each other .
There is so much depth in this article I haven't fully absorbed yet.
The way the whole religous structure system is based on their understanding of the law and how they came to understand what should be considered law is fascinating, as is the juxtaposition of English common law and Islamic law.

For instance this quote "As for sexism, the common law long denied married women any property rights or indeed legal personality apart from their husbands. When the British applied their law to Muslims in place of Shariah, as they did in some colonies, the result was to strip married women of the property that Islamic law had always granted them — hardly progress toward equality of the sexes".

I need to read this piece a few times to understand all the nuances/underlying stances and undertones involved , it's definitely unadulterated analytical brilliance.

4 comments:

Ronald Coleman said...

Boy, Jaded, your heroes of late. Spitzer, the hypocritical moralist, "brilliant" because, like virtually anyone born into vast wealth, he went to Ivy League schools. Now Noah Feldman, truly intellecutally brilliant, who hates his heritage so much he not only maligned it -- falsely -- in the New York Times, but volunteered to argue against the erection of an eruv in Tenafly, New Jersey (thank God the Court of Appeals did not bow to his brilliance as readily as you do).

I would be as happy as you about Noah Feldman if he would continue to keep his attention on Muslims and leave the Jewish people he has so callously rejected and lashed out against alone.

I'll grant you this much: Consistency. Feldman and Spitzer both are the type of men who believe because they are so gifted, they don't need to follow the rules that apply to everyone else. From reading the rest of your writing I always thought you disdained arrogance, but I guess when it comes to intermarried Ivy Leaguer alpha males -- as opposed to, say, rabbis, teachers, fellow students, all the people whose haughtiness you disdain -- it's different.

More nuances and underlying stances, I guess! ;-)

Jaded Topaz said...

Noah Feldman is really brilliant,exceedingly erudite, learned and has quite the scholarly academic background up to and including his modern orthodox high school scholar award.
Rhodes Scholar, Oxford University,
Harry S. Truman Scholar, Harvard University,
Presidential Scholar, The Maimonides School

Why would I give a fuck about erecting an erev in Tenafly ?
Though I haven't read the specifics on that nor do I have any information pro or con, separation of church and town makes perfect logical sense.

You should read that piece again, I believe you have fallen for the deliberate misconstruing's many were trying to mess up the piece with in their haughtier than thou haste to protect their pride.
It's a brilliant, profound, in depth analysis and presentation of the concept of contradiction.
He's a great writer too.

Ronald Coleman said...

Jaded, if you are going to praise someone, you should give a fuck about what kind of person he is. Some people leave Jewish practice, and that's that. If the worst thing you do is write angry comments on blogs about how judgmental and snobby your classmates in some Bais Yaakov were, it's more or less not harming anyone.

Other people, like your boy Noah, make it their mission in life to make Jews who still practice their religion miserable in an active fashion. In earlier ages, people like this became members of the Inquisition or informers. The most brilliant ones went very far. That's your hero. You don't give a fuck? Then don't be surprised if no one takes your comments seriously! Because when you write about a topic or a person, and you don't know what you're talking about, you won't be! Considering your obvious intelligence, humor, humanity and sensitivity, however, you deserve to be. So hear, and reflect, and consider.

You don't have to be Jewish (or a Circuit Court judge) to recognize how wrong your boy was on this issue, and how he completely missed the church-state point -- mainly that the city had no business stopping the eruv from being put up, but was motivated by a desire to keep orthodox Jews out of town.

So since he's God's gift to intellectual erudition, etc., and he was this wrong, and for free, and you don't care, it's hard to know what to do with your oft-stated pleas for general niceness, non-judgmentalism, and all that other sparkly stuff, all of which are the opposite of your heroes Spitzer and Feldman. Feldman is not just anti-religious and bitter, he's affirmatively vindictive -- so much so he was willing to sacrifice his sterling, Jaded-sigh-inducing reputation on a wrong-headed pro bono antisemitic legal project "l'hachis."

You are unduly impressed by academic credentials and prizes, for some reason. It doesn't add up considering the appeals to principle, sincerity and decency I read in your comments on Beyond BT. But in your worldview it seems "erudition" and "brilliance" are never to be judged unless perhaps they request not to be translated into the language of your choice -- now, that is unforgivable!

I know you can do better than this!

Jaded Topaz said...

Ron,
He didnt leave Judaism.
You should re-read that "orthodox paradox" piece.
Its a profound presentation and in depth analysis of the concept of "contradiction".
Frankly, I dont give a fuck about eruvs in general so that eruv in tenafly story doesnt move me very much.
Pro bono work is always good thing. In life its not all about the money.
I've read some of his articles and found them brilliant.
I'm goin to purchase all his books for some intellectual stimulation.