Critique of prevailing views
Shaz was incensed by the self-righteous attitude of the religious right, invoking divine authority for their political goals, but ignoring the command to “love the stranger”. He criticized the absence of religious sensitivity to burning social issues and to issues of human rights. He also criticized, however, the secularist doctrinaires for their refusal to consider the many positive influences that a non-alienated approach to Jewish expression could have upon Israeli society, without doing violence to democratic values.
Many of Sheleff’s views on these subjects are set forth in his Hebrew book, Asabim Shotim b’Gan Eden , translated into English as Weeds in the Garden of Eden . Though not a yeshiva-trained Jewish scholar, he felt fully competent to challenge traditional interpretations of Biblical texts, drawing upon insights from his many areas of academic endeavor.