Brandeis University was established as a Jewish secular institution in 1948, three years after the liberation of Auschwitz. Only decades later, it has banned someone who has done more than anyone I can think of to liberate women in the Third World, a woman who was herself victimized by clitoradectomy as an infant in Somalia and has done more for women in a real way — opposing honor killings and genital mutilation under Islam — than Gloria Steinem squared. (Come to think of it, where are Gloria Steinem and her “sisters” in all this? Crickets.)
Shame on Brandeis. (Albert Einstein was right, years ago, to have washed his hands of the institution that they were going to name after him. You can look this up.)
I have a proposal. Monday night, April 14, is the first night of Passover. One of the great traditions from the Haggadah, the Passover service book or guide, is the story of the Four Sons at the Seder and their attitudes toward this celebration of freedom. (Amusing video at the link. Most of us make it sons and daughters now, as we should.) They are the wise, wicked, stupid and the ones who doesn’t know how to ask questions.
The administration and faculty of Brandeis always thought they were the “wise” son, but really they are combination of the other three — wicked, stupid and clueless. Every one of us should disdain them on this occasion (donors especially) and raise our glass of kosher wine (there are a lot of good ones now) to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, truly a wise daughter, if there ever were one. We should also support the film Honor Diaries with Ayaan and other women oppressed, often violently, in Islamic majority societies, available for download here.
As for the Brandeis administration, let’s save them for Purim when everyone is supposed to curse Haman, who sold the Jewish people out to the Persian leader. It’s all remarkably modern.