web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Letters To The Editor

Readers Urged To Reach Out To Jewish Serviceman
 
I recently exchanged a few e-mails with an observant Jewish serviceman in Iraq, 1st Lt. Chaim Spilman. He is deployed for a long tour (the address below is good for at least the next three months; he might be sent elsewhere later), and I think he could use some moral support from American Jews.
 
 In addition to sending Chaim letters and packages, and e-mailing my friends and family to enlist their assistance in this endeavor, I am writing to ask if your readers might be interested in reaching out to him and if you might be able to send him a copy or two of The Jewish Press. I am certain that being able to keep up with Jewish events and issues during this difficult period in his life would really be a boost to his morale, and maybe even to that of some other Jewish personnel in his area.
 
In response to some questions I sent him about his situation, Chaim wrote me the following:
 
“I am from Monsey, NY. I went to yeshiva and grew up in a frum environment. I was active duty in the infantry and after that completed my degree and became an officer. There are other Jewish personnel deployed here but very few (especially ones taht come to services). I am currently at a new location, so I am trying to get a handle on the Jewish situation here. There is one Jewish chaplain… At the other place I was at, I held services every Friday night; we will see what happens here.
 
“Food: Obviously limited to none that I can eat in the mess hall, but firneds and family send stuff.
 
“Pesach:  I am not exactly sure yet, but I think a second rabbi is comming…”
 
The following is Chaim’s address. It is a military address, so write it on the envelope or package exactly as it appears here. Please do not write a country name – the military postal system will get it to where it needs to go. Also, please include your name and return address on the letter or package, and write your e-mail on a note inside if you’d like a faster reply from Chaim.
 
Address for letters/packages:
1LT Spilman, Chaim
MNCI-JIATF-FRE
Camp Victory South
APO AE 09342
 
If you’d like to communicate with Chaim directly, his email address is: chaim.spilman@us.army.mil.
 
Thanks to The Jewish Press and its readers for any assistance you might be able to extend to Chaim and his fellow Jewish soldiers.
 
Joseph Alexander
Efrat, Israel
 
 
 
Disservice To PETA?

Re Professor Yitzchok Levine’s March 11 op-ed article, “PETA’s Real Agenda”:

I would like to encourage readers to see for themselves the content and tone of our campaign against AgriProcessors (www.goveg.com/feat/ agriprocessors/) before coming to any conclusions about PETA or our stance on shechita. It would seem that Dr. Levine is asking of his readers that they write off our campaign simply because he does not fully support our founding mission statement. This, I think, does a disservice to all those involved and brings us no closer to a better, kinder world.

Benjamin Goldsmith
Campaign Coordinator
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Norfolk, VA



‘Equal Opportunity Critic’

I think Dr. Levine should get beyond the semantic wrangling and focus on the issue of cruelty to animals. I have supported PETA’s efforts to protect animals for many years, and there is always a pattern. The abusers try to shift the focus to other abusers, or try to discredit PETA. PETA has never hidden its agenda, which is to save as many animals as it can. PETA is an equal opportunity critic of all groups, religions, industries, etc., that harm animals. There is no discrimination here.

Terri David
(Via E-Mail)



Molders Of Our Children

I read with interest Rabbi Moshe Shochet’s March 11 letter to the editor regarding my own letter that appeared the previous week (“From the Heart”, March 4). Rabbi Shochet’s attack on my character notwithstanding, I have no lack of kavod haTorah; my emunas chachomim is just as strong as his; and I take no issue with his statement that he’s “seen many roshei yeshiva at conventions, simchas and other gatherings, and they show beautiful derech eretz to their wives, talmidim and in general to all people.”

I did not impugn the derech eretz that roshei yeshiva show to others, nor did I harshly criticize them. What I did was address some very serious issues facing Klal Yisrael.

The crux of the problem is that today, in North America, we do not have gedolei roshei yeshiva like the Brisker Rav, the Chazon Ish, Rav Aharon Kotler, or Rav Elya Meir Bloch. If the gedolei roshei yeshiva of yesteryear were alive today in North America, the problems of shidduchim, abuse and agunos would not exist.

Am I saying that all the blame rests on roshei yeshiva? Of course not; parents bear a share of it, as do the bochurim themselves. Yes, there are many bochurim who are the very personification of kiddush Hashem, but there are too many others who are the very personification of chillul Hashem – before, during and after their marriages. And too many of our roshei yeshiva either minimize the problem or deny that a problem even exists.

When we as parents send our children away to yeshiva at a relatively early age, we are entrusting their spiritual care, their development of midos tovos, to the roshei yeshiva and their staffs. At that point, we parents no longer have the input we did when our children lived in our homes. We only have our children bein hazmanim; the roshei yeshiva are the ones who mold the character of our children, and all we as parents can do is pray that these roshei yeshiva imbue in them the proper torahdig hashkofos and mentschlichkeit.

It remains my opinion that many of our problems with shidduchim, abuse and agunos stem in no small measure from the failure of our roshei yeshiva to transmit to their talmidim what the roshei yeshiva of previous generations transmitted to their talmidim.

Ben M. Joseph
(Via E-Mail)



Angered By Remark

I am writing this several days after having attended the satellite screening of the Daf Yomi Siyum HaShas. I felt privileged to attend an event that was being celebrated by so many great scholars and religious authorities. But while I’d anticipated only positive and enlightening words from the many wonderful speakers, I felt sadness and, yes, even anger at a remark made by one of those individuals.

I am alluding to a story about a group of women who, after drinking some tea during their husbands’ study session, were, according to the speaker, engaged in frivolous conversation that may possibly have included complaints about their husbands. Does such a statement not denigrate the ability of these women to determine for themselves what is or what is not appropriate? These women should not be treated like dummies or scatterbrains.

It seems to me that those rabbis and scholars in attendance would not have been able to realize their goals and religious aspirations were it not for the support of the deeply committed Jewish women who keep kosher homes, observe the laws of mikvah, raise children in a Torah environment and do whatever else it takes to provide an enriching Jewish way of life.

I am aware that one rabbi at the event did acknowledge the contribution of women. Nevertheless, I still take issue with the rabbi who chose to use a portion of his speaking time to insult the intelligence of women. I sincerely believe that giving more credit to Jewish women will insure their honored place in this world.

It is becoming clear that this creeping of extremism into our lives is chipping away at our ability to experience the joy of being Jewish. The moderate voices of the religious community are being silenced by the more strident among us. The sparks emanating from an event such as the Siyum HaShas would have burned a lot brighter without this touch of negativity.

Phyllis Gross
(Via E-Mail)



‘Davening Glasses’

After going through the effort of waking up early, going to shul, and saying all the words page after page, it’s frustrating to often leave shul unchanged and uninspired. That’s where “davening glasses” come in handy.

Recently, while davening in my shul in Charleston, South Carolina, I found myself struggling to find the inspiration to connect to Hashem. It then occurred to me why I was unable to ignite my prayers: Tefilla is not service of the mind or the intellect, but service of the heart – avoda shebalev.

The heart is the organ associated with emotion. Therefore, the more numb or devoid a person is of emotion, the more stale and uninspired his prayers will be. Emotion is the fuel that launches prayer.

Contrary to popular belief, this emotional fuel that comes from our hearts need not be emotions of joy or love. Rather, a person may take his “emotional flavor of the day” and use that as a springboard for inspiration.

The people who are most connected through prayer are the heartbroken parents of a sick child, or the joyous, love-struck couple recently engaged, or the father who is struggling to support his family’s financial needs. The thread that ties these people together is that their existence is overflowing with emotion, positive or negative, and it makes its way into their prayers.

Hashem often sends us various curve balls and bumps in life as a gift to stimulate and ignite our otherwise “boring” prayers. The challenge that many of us face (myself included) is to find that inspiration on a normal run-of-the-mill day – one not filled with a family simcha or, God forbid, a tragedy.

Therefore, the next time you go to shul, be sure to bring your davening glasses so that you can see the words of the Siddur through the lenses of your own emotions. If you feel happy, angry, depressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, annoyed or ecstatic, use those emotions to help you connect to Hashem. Learn to filter the words through your heart before they leave your lips.

Anyone who attempts to daven without first putting on those emotional glasses will simply be approaching prayers blindly. Alternatively, if we welcome our emotions into our prayers, we are sure to stimulate that vision in others as well.

Rabbi Ari Sytner
Brith Sholom Beth Israel Congregation
Charleston, SC

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Letters To The Editor”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Facebook post from man believed to be Canadian convert to Islam who rammed soldiers with his car in possible terrorist attack, Oct. 20, 2014.
‘Radicalized’ Convert to Islam Attempted to Murder Canadian Soldiers [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
Noah and his Family; mixed media collage by Nathan Hilu. Courtesy Hebrew Union College Museum

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

Sweden prefers to ignore its own problems and make trouble elsewhere.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

256px-Israel-Palestine_flags.svg

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Map of Syria-Turkish border area, pinpointing Kurdish border town of Kobani, just taken by ISIS terror forces Oct 7, 2014.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

More Articles from Letters to the Editor
Hijabs don't fit in with Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Look Policy" but a kippa, so far, is permitted.

How can it be called a failed school when it has only been open a year?

I had the opportunity on a number of occasions in October of 1973 to be present at the international airport in Lod and to watch the military C-5 Galaxy planes landing, packed with goods. At the time, we were out of everything.

Don’t Touch Nixon, He Saved my Life My sentiments too on our late President Nixon. Although my last name does not meet the culture, I have suffered heavily acts of anti semitism over the years(in the work place) when it is learned, (ie), I’ve taken off for Yom Kippur, just as one example. I truly understand […]

Peace must start from the ground up, not with grand slogans coming from pontificating politicians.

Let’s think what OUR interest is, and act according to it.

This past Friday, I went shopping at a local supermarket and noticed a piece of paper on the floor with what looked like Hebrew lettering. On closer examination, I was shocked to see that this small pamphlet with some form off advertising contained the full text of “Krias Shma al Hamitta,” (the Shma Israel recited […]

Dear Editor, I read with interest Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu’s February 24, 2013 article entitled, Women of the Wall Rabbi Calls Knesset Achashverosh. In 2003, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision that allows Women of the Wall to pray at the Kotel once a month on Rosh Hodesh. That is why Women of the Wall only […]

Today is my brother’s second yartzheit and a Torah was dedicated in his memory.

I know that some people in heterosexual families see themselves as underdog victims harassed by threatening gays.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-107/2005/03/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: