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To the Editor: As a lover of rare books, I applaud Enrique Landa's efforts to encourage his fellow students to visit Penn's rare books collection ("Finding treasures in Van Pelt," The Daily Pennsylvanian, 11/21/00). I must take issue, however, with one of his assertions in the editorial: that the Haggadah and Milton's Paradise Lost have "little in common." While this may seem a small matter, I believe an essential part of the appreciation of rare books, and of all books, is an awareness of the deep connections shared by much of literature, sacred or secular. Aside from their obvious common status as priceless books, the two works share many common attributes. Paradise Lost and the Haggadah are deemed by many to be essential reading in their respective milieux. Both works have origins in one of the books of the Pentateuch, or Torah -- Paradise Lost in Genesis, the Haggadah in Exodus. Each commemorates humans passing -- or failing -- a trial, and each imparts a key event in the story of two faiths with common origins. And perhaps most importantly, both works reflect the struggle to understand the human relationship with the figure of God.

Kate Keith Career Services

Gore's sensible solution

To the Editor: While I am an Al Gore supporter, I feel that everyone should agree that your statements about the current elecotoral situation ("Dividers, not uniters," DP, 11/27/00) are woefully inaccurate. You write that "All the while, it has become increasingly apparent that no one representing either major party is interested in a fair and accurate count indicative of the people's will," and that "no one is trying to hammer out a sensible, nonpartisan solution to the current impasse." Mr. Gore offered Mr. Bush the option of an end-all statewide hand recount in Florida where the loser goes home, the winner becomes president and, thankfully, no one goes to court. The hand counts, which are more accurate than machine recounts, would have taken a while but would have been overseen by Democratic and Republican ballot overseers, just like the recently completed recounts in South Florida. Most sensible people saw this measure as the only fair way out of the strange, surreal mess. It was only after Mr. Bush rejected this measure that Mr. Gore has had to resort to whatever court might help him and the partisan rhetoric on both sides has escalated. A statewide hand recount might well still give the election to Mr. Bush, but Mr. Gore thinks he won the election and wants nothing more than all the votes in Florida to be accurately counted. The other side rejected the only fair way, short of a revote, to most exactly determine who won the popular vote in Florida. It's an obvious statement, but it takes two sides to "unite" and Mr. Bush wants to "divide." (Or, perhaps, he is a uniter -- but only on his terms.) Theÿcurrent political diviseness could have been fairly, appropriately and easily avoided if not forÿMr. Bush's rejection ofÿthe "sensible solution" you inaccuratelyÿwrite is lacking.

Naresh Nagella Law '01

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