No Leadership

Last week two of my friends, Rafi and Helena HaLevy, were killed in Israel by a suicide bomber. Rafi was the town’s gardener. Helena was one of seven women in the leadership of the government of Kedumim. Rafi and Helena were gentle people. They had tremendous love for life, for the Jewish people, for the land of Israel. Their death is not only my loss but also your loss.

Today, the Jewish people are floundering because we do not have leaders who have a clear vision of what life is about. Today’s leadership does not follow in the footsteps of our ancestors. If our leadership could lead us with our forefathers’ and foremothers’ vision, the other nations would bestow respect upon and honor the Jewish people.

David Lazowick
Philadelphia, PA

Katyushas Coming Closer

While Kadima partisans were busy celebrating the election results, a Katyusha rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel for the first time.

The Katyusha rocket has a far greater range than the Kassam and can carry over 20 kilograms of explosives. Israeli military officials are alarmed but say they’ll be able to deal with the situation. Unfortunately, for all of Israel`s reliance on the goodwill of the Egyptians, this particular Katyusha was smuggled into the Gaza area from Egypt. There is no safe border crossing any longer, and as Israel chooses to ignore this situation it will only get worse.

Israelis had better wake up before the Katyushas start falling closer to the country’s population centers.

Toby Willig
Communal Effort

Your article on Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future was appreciated by many (“”New Center for the Jewish Future Attempts to Reshape More Than YU,” news story, March 31). It is, however, appropriate to acknowledge that the tuition crisis is an issue of great concern to the broader Jewish community and the Center for the Jewish Future and the Orthodox Caucus are not alone in this effort. The Rabbinical Council of America plays a role in this issue and the lead organization working on it is the Orthodox Union.

Rabbi Kenneth Brander
Center for the Jewish Future
Yeshiva University

Chabad Outreach

Re the article on Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future: I think credit should have been given to the Chabad-Lubavitch shluchim and their outreach program which has been flourishing for many years. They have been bringing back to Yiddishkeit not only to the distantly located Jew, but to the distantly affiliated Jew. No credit should be taken away from Rabbi Brander and his kollel ideas – they have worked beautifully in the Boca Raton area. But so have all the thousands of Chabad Houses and their shluchim all over the world.

Carol Walter Seidman
Boca Raton, FL
Lesson Wasted

I was shocked and disgusted when I read Shlomo Kleinbart’s letter “Sensible Shaloch Manos” (March 31). If Mr. Kleinbart is opposed to his daughters having too much nosh, was it really necessary to throw it in the trash?

Food pantries and homeless shelters welcome donations of all kinds of food, not just the canned goods they usually receive. Public workers also appreciate being remembered with gifts of food. Why not drop a bag of candy off at the fire station?

Finally, think of the thousands of troops stationed overseas. I know from experience how receiving “care packages” lifts the spirits and helps to alleviate the loneliness of these courageous men and women. The nosh that Mr. Kleinbart so callously sent off to the city dump could have gone a long way toward brightening the lives of the less fortunate and those who are making sacrifices to protect us.

If Mr. Kleinbart wants his daughters to learn about the Purim spirit, that would have been a powerful lesson to teach them.

Sharon R. Bloch, Ph.D.
(Via E-Mail)

Evolution And The Arguments Against It

Apes And Yichus

I am writing regarding the letter of Dr. Zev Stern (March 17) which was filled with insults against haredi Torah authorities, those whom he labels “so-called gedolim,” and anyone who does not believe in the theory of evolution.

He writes that he was “bemused that so many otherwise intelligent people could brush aside mountains of evidence and deny one of the most robust and fructifying theories of science.”

The reality is, there are no “mountains of evidence” for evolution.

In a letter dated 18 Teves 5722, the Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote: “.I can tell you without fear of contradiction that [evolution] has not a shred of evidence to support it. On the contrary, during the years of research and investigation since the theory was first advanced, it had been possible to observe certain species of animal and plant life of a short life-span over thousands of generations, yet it has never been possible to establish a transformation from one species into another, much less to turn a plant into an animal. Hence, such a theory can have no place in the arsenal of empirical science.

“This illustrates how a highly speculative and scientifically unsound theory can capture the imagination of the uncritical, so much so that it is even offered as a ‘scientific’ explanation of the mystery of Creation, despite the fact that the theory of evolution itself has not been substantiated scientifically and is devoid of any real scientific basis.”

The Lubavitcher Rebbe once related the following story: “When I was a child in cheder, someone came to my melamed during recess and excitedly told him about the theory of evolution. I got into a lengthy discussion with this individual attempting to show him that the theory is incorrect. The melamed then called me and said: “Mendel, why do you have to argue with him; if he doesn’t accept that he was created in Hashem’s image, and he is satisfied with the yichus of descending from an ape, let him keep his yichus.”

Rabbi Y. Minkowitz
Montreal, Canada

Wormy Theory

All the talk by evolutionists has finally gotten to me. I’m beginning to see their point of view.

Recently I picked up a few worms crawling in an old railroad yard and put them under a powerful electron microscope. What I saw was absolutely astounding: A worm’s cell magnified three billion times has an uncanny resemblance to a train window. This led me to the conclusion that if you incubate a handful of worms in a solution of amino acids and carbon compounds for approximately one and a half million years, they will eventually evolve into the Long Island Railroad.

The only problem with this otherwise solid theory is that worms have never actually been observed commuting between Long Island and Manhattan. So I went back to the railroad yard for some more research.

I lined up some of the old cars side by side and noticed how each car was slightly bigger and better developed than the one before it. The car at one end had a highly sophisticated and powerful air conditioning system, while the car at the opposite end had not even a fan. The only trace of air conditioning found in one underdeveloped car was the fossil of a conductor slapping an elderly woman with his cap to create some air disturbance. (His cap, incidentally, has been known to be extinct for at least seven and a half billion years – it had no union label.)

It’s quite obvious that my discovery overshadows the somewhat popular but fanatical notion that trains may have been manufactured by intelligent beings. The “intelligent beings” theory would imply a labor union. So far, none of the trains studied shows any traces of major medical benefits, pension funds, or sick leave. How such a ridiculous theory even got started is beyond me.

But how did the first worm come into existence?

Well, in the beginning there was one big hook. Nature found it rather absurd to have one big hook without worms. In a few short billions of years, worms began to materialize around the hook. When the first trout started biting, nature found it necessary to produce more worms to keep up with the fishing season. Eventually, there was an abundance of worms, which led to the invention of the can (you have to keep the worms somewhere).

I now call this the Big Bait theory. And yes, it all began with a can of worms. Find all this a little hard to believe? Wait until I find the missing link – a train without wheels that used to crawl on its caboose.

Josh Greenberger
Brooklyn, NY

Skeptical Scientists

“Evolution is baseless and quite incredible.” – John Ambrose Fleming, president, British Association for Advancement of Science, in The Unleashing of Evolutionary Thought.

“The theory [of evolution] is a scientific mistake.” – Harvard University professor and glaciation pioneer Louis Agassiz, quoted in H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation.

“The fact is that the evidence was so patchy one hundred years ago that even Darwin himself had increasing doubts as to the validity of his views. His general theory, that all life on earth had originated and evolved by a gradual successive accumulation of fortuitous mutations, is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from that self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe.” – Australian molecular biologist Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.

“There is no evidence in the fossil record of one kind of creature becoming another kind. No transitional links or intermediate forms between various kinds of creatures have ever been found.the evolutionist claims that it took perhaps fifty million years for a fish to evolve into an amphibian. But, again, there are no transitional forms.Nowhere do we see animals with partially evolved legs, eyes, brains, or various other tissues, organs, and biological structures.” – Genetecist B.G. Ranganathan, Origins? :

“I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.” – Charles Darwin, in a letter to Harvard professor of biology Asa Gray, N.C. Gillespie, Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation.

“To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” – Charles Darwin, On the origin of Species by Means of Natural Selections, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.

Yosef Hertzman
(Via E-Mail)