Ben Chorin has provided further proof of the limitations of Rabbi Yitzhak Levi. Ben describes his experience as follows:
Another wild day in vaadat chukah today. Never before have I seen one politician do so much damage to his own constituents' interests as I did today. The discussion was about the definition of the state. The alternatives were to bury the Jewish character of the state in the useless "Jewish and democratic" formulation or to include a strong separate Jewish clause. We had lined up the Kadimah, Labor and Likud people behind the strong version. Things were going well. Which idiot torpedoed the whole thing? Yitzhak Levy of Mafdal-Ichud Leumi!Why, you might ask? A combination of warped ideology and personal vanity.First, he did not want to separate the words "Jewish" and "democratic" because his conception of the state involves intertwining Jewishness and democracy as a matter of principle. Whatever the hell that means. Second, he was duped into supporting Basic Law: Dignity and Freedom of Man back in 1992. That law has proved to be an unmitigated disaster. So Levy has begun acting like the Woody Allen character who, having fallen into the orchestra pit at the theater, repeats the performance for thirty consecutive nights so as not to let on it was an accident. He now wants to enshrine the language of that law in the opening chapter of the constitution so as not to let on that he was played for the fool in 1992.If you voted for Mafdal-Ichud Leumi thinking that you were advancing the cause of a Jewish State, you wuz robbed. When the chips are down, you are being represented by someone of extremely limited intellect.
I, myself, had earlier experienced these limitations. In the Spring of 1998, after the totally unnecessary fiasco known as פעמוני היובל, the Religious-Secular dialogue group known as שחרית had an emergency meeting to which Rabbi Levy was invited. The discussion got around to the question of the place of the representational arts in Judaism. I noted that in the 1970's there had been a big brouhaha about teaching Art at Yeshiva College and thaty the Rav had not only refused to support the campaign against Art, he actually said that it was permitted to teach it. No limitations were set.
Rabbi Levy, whose religio-cultural world begins and ends at Merkaz HaRav, looked at me blankly and said, 'That can't be true!' (לא יכול להיות). Desiring to maintain his dignity as Minister of Education I kept quiet. I was, however, stunned. Was he there? Did he know anything about it? Had he ever seen a Giotto in his life?
Yes, Ben Chorin is right. Yet the fact that a person such as this could be the Minister of Education is an example of why Religious Zionism is in such a sorry state. It also says alot about the state of Israeli education. Consider the last three ministers. There was Levy ('nuff said), Livnat (who doesn't have a BA) and Tamir (who's defended female circumcision on the grounds of multi-culturalism).