Inspired By Rabbi Waldman
I was touched beyond words by the self-sacrifice and idealism exhibited by Rabbi Eliezer Waldman in moving his family and his yeshiva to SaNur (Jewish Press, April 22). Many of us talk the talk when it comes to defending the integrity of Eretz Yisrael, but Rabbi Waldman walks the walk. Thanks to Naomi Klass Mauer for an inspiring interview.
I am an Orthodox Jew who has been a faithful subscriber to The Jewish Press for many years. I read most of your columns with an uncritical mind, since I believe that everyone has the right to express his or her opinion. Rabbi Menachem Porush’s April 1 column, however, blew my mind and I have no alternative but to respond.
Rabbi Porush laments the Israeli government’s decision to relinquish Jewish land. Yet it was Rabbi Porush’s Agudath Israel party that saved the Sharon government from collapse. It was Rabbi Porush’s party that permitted the government to proceed with its Gaza disengagement policy. And Rabbi Porush has the temerity to berate the government for this action? He complains against the government? Why, his party is a key part of the very government that decreed the Gaza withdrawal! Is it any wonder that chutzpah is a Jewish word?
I hope you have the courage to publish this letter, since I am brave enough to sign it.
Silver Spring, MD
Novak The Meshumad
Kudos to the Media Monitor for exposing the source of Robert Novak’s latest calumny against Israel (“Novak’s Nun,” April 22). I remember the uproar over Mother Agapia in 2002, and how her anti-Israel e-mail accounts were revealed to be second- and third-hand reports of distorted tales and lies. It figures a meshumad like Novak (he became a Roman Catholic several years ago) would lap up whatever this sister dispenses.
New York, NY
Mr. Maoz’s Media Monitor column essentially smeared Mother Agapia Stephanopolous.
I suggest he visit her and witness first-hand the situation on the ground for Christian institutions and clergy. I think he would have a different view. I have worked with Mother Agapia over the last two years. She is a principled, committed nun who lives her faith by giving her life to God and running an all-girls school in the Holy Land.
Yom Tov Writing
Looks like Rachel Weiss’s front-page holiday essays are coming full circle. Mrs. Weiss wrote last year’s front cover on Shavuot, which was a success, as are all her inspiring holiday articles. I want to thank her and make sure she knows how much the readership of The Jewish Press looks forward to her cover essays. I hope Mrs. Weiss will continue to enlighten us with her eloquent and vivid yom tov writing. Looking forward to Shavuot cover #2!
Your front-page essays have become real reader favorites, if my family and friends are an accurate indicator. The last three – Jason Maoz’s piece on Jewish baseball players, Chananya Weissman’s article on baalei teshuva, and Rachel Weiss’s meditation on Pesach were all first rate. I love the wide range of these essays – every week there’s a different subject, but always so well-written and insightful.
New York, NY
Echoes Of McCarthy
The RCA’s actions in the Rabbi Mordecai Tendler case remind me of the tactics employed by Senator Joseph McCarthy in his anti-Communist crusade of the 1950’s. The question of whether or not there were subversives operating in key positions in the U.S. government was overshadowed by McCarthy’s practice of making public accusations against certain individuals, claiming to have evidence against them – evidence that somehow was never forthcoming.
In the course of the Army/McCarthy hearings of 1954, the Army’s chief counsel, Joseph Welch, made a statement that has become part of American folklore. Unfortunately, it now seems relevant to the RCA/Tendler matter. McCarthy had launched an irrelevant attack on a young lawyer who worked in Welch’s law firm, and Welch responded with: “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you no sense of decency?” McCarthy’s reputation never recovered.
I just do not understand why the RCA refuses to convene a bet din and present its charges in the time-honored and halachic way.
New York, NY
Guilty Until Proven Innocent?
I followed up reader David Pollack’s letter to the editor last week and visited the Awareness Center’s website. I was astounded by what I found. In a section called “Cases of Clergy Abuse and Other Trusted Officials,” there are more than two hundred individuals listed – but relatively few of them, by the Awareness Center’s own record-keeping, have been convicted of any crime! Most of the people on that list are the subjects of unproven allegations and charges.
Not only should the RCA have nothing to do with the Awareness Center, it should be in the forefront of efforts to discredit this font of lashon hora and motzi shem rah. And I’m terribly disappointed to learn of Rabbi Yosef Blau’s involvement with such an outfit. What are we coming to in the frum community when even our enlightened Orthodox leaders get caught up in such hysteria?
Inspired By Rabbi Waldman