by Noam Putterman (’18)

During lunch on Tuesday, the first Honor’s College meeting for this year was held. Students convened for a discussion of last summer’s reading, My Quarrel, a short story by Chaim Grade, describing a fiery existential post-Holocaust debate between two friends. The main character, Chaim, is a secular Jew, while his friend, Hersh, is an ultra-Orthodox Mussarist. Their debate parallels contemporary debates, as they brush on heavy, philosophical issues such as Reason vs. Religion, God’s hand in the Holocaust, and the famous question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

The Honor’s College was treated to pizza while watching the film adaptation of the story and the participants then disbanded for separate grade discussions. In the library, Rabbi Brownstein began by asking open-ended questions for discussion on the issues raised in the story. Our own discussion nearly turned into another intense debate! The questions asked were especially thought provoking, each one nuanced and meticulous in a different manner. Members of the Honors College program look forward to the faculty continuing selecting intriguing literary masterpieces for the students’ deep analysis and contemplation, as the Honor’s College dives into the new year.


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