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Friday, November 7, 2003

Jews should be proactive in advocating viewpoint

I am writing in response to the criticisms of both Seth Frantzman and Daniel Greenspan. Seth Frantzman is exactly right in believing that the Wildcat should strive to equally represent all religions. It is precisely because the Wildcat's "outright discrimination ... should not be tolerated" that I suggest that you take an active role in helping our university newspaper become more diverse: Write a column yourself. Tell us about the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. The only reason that the Wildcat has printed more publications about Islam is because the Muslims themselves have been actively pressing for this. Regarding Daniel Greenspan's complaint that Ramadan is an arbitrary prescription handed down from God, he is also correct in believing that the motivation behind fasting during Ramadan is "not a rule that one would otherwise follow if God did not prescribe it." Of course Muslims fast because it is required of them. But in no way does this imply that fasting itself is an "arbitrary" maxim. I would like to form an analogy to further illustrate my point: It is mandated for every citizen to follow governmental rulings. Many people who obey the law do not do so for the sake of personal morality. Can one conclude from this that the government's regulations - provided that they are just - are arbitrary? In most instances, the achievement of social order is merely a side effect of law enforcement. This also applies in the case of fasting; obedience to God is the primary motivation, and appreciation of the plight of the hungry is an important byproduct. Concerning your objection to the limited sphere of fasting, and your suggestion that one might just as easily give up one's home in order to appreciate the suffering of the homeless, God does not ignore these issues. During the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are required to undertake, pilgrims are humbled by their lack of shelter in the same way that homeless people are. But this is a topic to be addressed at another time. As far as your assertion that giving up education and hygiene (and even contracting AIDS) would foster appreciation, it is senseless to undermine one's mental and physical health for the sake of the unfortunate. As I explained in my article, fasting is beneficial to the health. God does not want for us to harm ourselves. Your dream of a time when "love is free" cannot be practically achieved without submission to a more precise instruction. [Read article]

View Points

Question: How should Isaiah Fox, UA men's basketball center, be punished for stealing food from the Student Union Memorial Center U-Mart? [Read article]

photo Cactus garden to remain a campus jewel

It has been nearly two years since the brouhaha to save the Joseph Wood Krutch cactus garden erupted on campus. In November 2001, the Alumni Association publicly exposed its proposal to build a multimillion dollar plaza in the center of campus - in which case the cactus garden could have been relocated to the western side of Old Main. Almost instantly, people unified their outcry at the possible move because it would have jeopardized the health of the three priceless boojum trees in the Krutch garden. [Read article]

Students suffering from a case of too much information

A few weeks ago, on one of those nights that you find yourself wandering around Tucson in search of anything remotely entertaining to do, I happened to wander into an Arizona Commons party.

Whoever was hosting the festivities seemed to follow the unwritten rules that govern any normal college party - shoving as many people as possible into a confined space, mixing in spirituous beverages and adding some sexual tension - all set to the background music of burnt gangster rap mixes made by some kid straight out of the suburbs. [Read article]

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