For the most part, I usually enjoy Erica Brown’s insightful columns.
However, a recent column seemed unusually disrespectful of what Brown calls “cliches” and what many perceive as wisdom. (“The cliches are coming — a plea for Jewish originality,” Oct. 27).
What is a cliche? According to Webster’s Dictionary, it is “a phrase or opinion that is overused, and betrays a lack of original thought.”
Overused? That’s the idea! These so-called “cliches” have different meanings for different people. Is reading the Torah anew on a yearly basis overuse? Are people tired of the same old-same old?
The answer would be no, because each time we read the Torah we discover, or infer, and review insights that continue to inspire us and that keep us together as a nation.
Lack of original thought?
Hardly, as they were written by men of great scholarship who possessed divine inspiration, which clearly Ms. Brown has not reached.
The idea that Ms. Brown wants to basically obliterate what people have repeated for years for all sorts of reasons and from which they have taken comfort is disconcerting. New sayings are always nice to learn, but let’s leave those that Ms. Brown mentions exactly where they are.
Here is a tired cliche, albeit a very used one, that Ms. Brown has certainly heard of: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”