To the Editor:
MEIR Soloveichik has written a moving and thought-provoking article tracing the roots of Western thought in the Hebrew Bible and pointing out the radically different consequences following the American and French Revolutions (“Cecil B. DeMille Was Right,” April). However, if it is indeed true that the success of a revolution is dependent upon its taking God, rather than the state, as the ultimate sovereign, how are we to distinguish between competing claims of God-fearing would-be revolutionaries?
I gladly agree that DeMille was right in attributing the origins of the American dream to the Passover story, perhaps even more that he knew. After all, what other people celebrate the history of their liberation at a feast whose name, Seder, literally means order? And what other people trace such a feast to their ancestors having had the law revealed to them? And what do we do at this celebration of Law and Order? Why, we start out by questioning the whole thing, of course, before we settle down to be properly grateful. What could be more Jewish, and more American?