Statement by Zvia Ratz, Translator and Student
As to the ridiculous lie about severing ties with family members, Ms. Ratz says: When I visited my family in Israel after I began studying Aesthetic Realism, for the first time I actually wanted to know them. After years of not speaking more than ten words in any given conversation with my father, we sat one evening and spoke for five hours into the night. I learned from him for the first time about his childhood in Romania, about his painful experiences during World War II, his hopes and love for Israel, and the direction he would like his life to proceed in. Recently he called me on the phone at work and we spoke for a while. When the conversation was over, my boss, who was sitting at the next table, asked me who I spoke with. When I said it was my father, he said: “I would have never guessed it. You sounded like you spoke with a friend.”
As to the lie about shunning people who no longer study Aesthetic Realism, Ms. Ratz says: My sister used to study Aesthetic Realism from Israel. She stopped some years ago. We speak regularly, and our conversations are getting better all the time. In Aesthetic Realism consultations I am encouraged to be deeper about her, to understand her point of view and not be judgmental, as big sisters can be. In a recent consultation I was asked: “Do you want to know how she feels to herself or do you act like a big sister who already knows the answers and is going to lay down the law and tell her what to do?” It changed me and I like talking with her even more.
Regarding the preposterous lie that people are discouraged from going to college, Ms. Ratz says: I graduated from a teachers college in Israel before I met Aesthetic Realism, but I thought I would never teach. Because of what I am learning in Aesthetic Realism classes, I decided to go back to school and study to be a math teacher. This semester I am attending Brooklyn College. In Aesthetic Realism consultations, not only am I encouraged to attend college, my Aesthetic Realism teachers want me to succeed in my university studies; they are helping me to see the beauty of math, and are encouraging me to learn as much as I can in the college classes I attend.
Regarding the lie that criticism of Aesthetic Realism is not allowed or is discouraged, Ms. Ratz writes: In Aesthetic Realism consultations and classes I am encouraged to use my scientific approach to things to see what is true and to express my observations and criticisms of any subject and any person, including my teachers. I have been present in classes where I have heard other people encouraged to do so, and each criticism is welcomed and treated with seriousness and respect.
Regarding the being a so-called “devotee” of Eli Siegel, Ms. Ratz writes: I respect Eli Siegel more than any other person I have met or heard about. But I am not devoted to him. I have looked critically at the principles of the philosophy he founded, and I think they are true. I also think that 1 + 1 = 2, and that a week has 7 days, and that the sun rises in the east in the morning and sets in the west at night. This doesn’t make me a devotee of math or the sun; it makes me a scientifically observant person, who is happy to learn these facts.
Regarding the statement that people who study Aesthetic Realism all live “within walking distance” of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation: I live in Brooklyn.