Gesture Of Brotherhood
In honor of last month’s Holocaust Remembrance Day and in exceeding gratitude and love for the contributions Jewish people have given humanity, please find attached a manuscript copy of an article I would like your newspaper to add to its archives and to distribute to interested colleagues and groups.
The manuscript is titled “The Nuremberg Trials: The Death of the Rule of Law.” I am happy to report that I have recently accepted a publication offer from Loyola Law Review (Louisiana), which will publish this work later this year.
This manuscript has recently been added to the collections at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, The George Bush Presidential Library, Yad Vashem Library, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Jewish Agency, The Jerusalem Report and Jews for Judaism; and it is under archive consideration at The Simon Wiesenthal Center, The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and many other respected venues.
As a black man and a Christian, I have been a lover and a friend of the Jewish people and their culture for many years Long ago I made a vow to G-d to dedicate my legal career and writings to proclaiming truth to the law academy and to society based on the Judeo- Christian tradition. I am honored to make this small contribution to bringing the light of truth to a very dark and ignominious chapter of Jewish history.
Ellis Washington, J.D.
Coach Knows Best
In the ugly light of the latest atrocities in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, on this dark night comes breaking news from Israel about more bombings, more dead and more worthless excuses from some spokesperson from “Palestine.” It seems obvious that the “road map to peace” will be painted in Jewish blood. What will it take for the United States to comprehend the fact that Israel is our lone ally in a desolate zone of hatred and fanaticism and that “Palestine” is little more than a junkyard for casbah cutthroats whose claims to a ‘state’ are as legitimate as drunken hillbillies squatting in an antebellum mansion?
Your goyishe buddy down in Dixie,
Mark “Coach” Segura
It was reported this week that Israel’s Labor Party is about to appoint Shimon Peres as temporary leader. How can anyone restrain himself from responding to this absurdity? It pains me that the idea alone made me laugh, because the reality is far too dangerous to be funny.
Peres is demanding that his temporary term last two years so that he has time to establish order and chart a positive direction! Peres led the Labor Party on several previous occasions in the only direction he knows – circular. On second thought, perhaps he should be given another chance. I reason that he is dizzy from running in circles. There is another direction he can take, and he will never know the difference – downward, and he can take the whole Labor Party with him.
Plaudits For Eidelberg, Adelson
Your columnists Professor Paul Eidelberg and Professor Howard L. Adelson wrote a pair of gems in the April 18 issue, and I extend my thanks.
Egypt’s state-controlled media are undoubtedly the world center of Jew-hatred, and they preach incessantly that Jews are a curse upon the world and that the killing of Jews is sacred and laudatory. Just as Israeli aircraft took down the Iraqi nuclear reactor, the same therapy must be applied to the Egyptian facility that contaminates the world with its incessant preachments on the desirability and the sacredness of exterminating Jews.
As for the McLaughlin program and Patrick Buchanan, there is a readily available and effective therapy. John McLaughlin is an experienced and ruthless hater from way back. He makes Buchanan’s appearance on the program possible and serves as Buchanan’s master of ceremonies. ‘The McLaughlin Group’ is carried in many areas by the Public Broadcasting Service, a well-known Israel-bashing media outlet. These worthies are nourished by public contributions. Our Jewish brethren, and all people of goodwill, should adopt a determined and iron-clad principle – no financial contributions to and no moral support of the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio.
Summit A Success Despite Absence Of AIPAC, Others
This past Sunday I attended the Interfaith Zionist Leadership Summit in Washington, along with members of both the Zionist Organization of America and the Christian Coalition. Concerning the latter, the genuine and staunch support from these Christians was astounding. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. Many of these people flew in from across the country to demonstrate in no uncertain terms (no wishy-washy feelings here) their
unequivocal support for Israel.
Much was accomplished at the conference as attendees considered strategies for stopping the “Road map/Trap.” However, it was glaringly obvious (and very disturbing and depressing to see as a Jewish Zionist) that all the other major Jewish groups, especially AIPAC with all its clout, were absent from this conference. Obviously, they are all under the delusion that we can still appease the terrorists by offering them a state of their own.
Despite this, I especially want to thank all the wonderful supporters and speakers (I know I will forget to include a few and for that I apologize). Thank you to Morton Klein, Daniel Pipes, Arnold Soloway, Richard Hellman, Frank Gaffney, Gary Bauer, Tom Neumann, Jan William Van Der Hoeven, (a righteous gentile par excellence) Michael Ledeen, Helen
Freedman, Rev. William Sutter, Ambassador Alan Keyes, Dr. Charles Jacobs and Dr. Alex Safian.
Here’s to the hope that this horrific “Road map/Trap” never comes to fruition.
No Justice For Yankel
The Bible is clear: “Justice, Justice shall you pursue.” We are further enjoined, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a life for a life.” While the Oral Law interprets this as being monetary damages rather than the actual taking of another’s eye, tooth or life, nevertheless the message is clear. The perpetrator must pay. He must not be permitted to get away scot-free.
The mother of Lemrick Nelson, whose comments and gestures suggested that of a religious person, should have been quite familiar with G-d’s version of justice. Does the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” apply to all humankind except her son? He is an admitted murderer, and by all indications totally unrepentant.
We were quite upset to watch her on TV at the conclusion of her son’s third trial. She was clearly annoyed, saying that she’d had enough of trials. The implicit suggestion was that the Rosenbaum family should put the murder of their son behind them. I wonder how she would feel if it were her son who was murdered? Her son was given three trials, all at great public expense. Yankel Rosenbaum was deprived of even one trial.
We now have an admitted murderer – someone who should be locked up forever, someone who has not only gotten away with murder, but will soon be set free by our justice system. What a travesty. What a disgrace to the morality and ethics of civilized society. What a mockery and embarrassment to the principles of justice.
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Eliahou
Baalei Teshuvah Unworthy Marriage Material?
I’ve read many excellent articles in your newspaper about the dating crisis in the frum world, but none that specifically addressed the treatment of baalei teshuvah.
Having personally become frum 14 years ago and having dated that whole time, I can attest that there is a tremendous level of discrimination among ‘Frum From Birth’ (FFB) Jews when it comes to dating baalei teshuvah. I have been turned down by an almost countless number of FFB women for the primary reason that I was not raised religious.
I just spoke with a shadchanit who despaired of setting up a 28-year-old baalas teshuvah – in this case a woman who’s been frum since 15 – with any FFB guys. I even had a similar conversation with a rabbi who happens to be a baal teshuvah but has a difficult time getting dates. The problem is particularly acute in the more yeshivish parts of the community, as the Modern Orthodox tend to be more flexible. Nevertheless, as the community as a whole moves to the right (something I wholeheart-edly support), the problem only continues to grow, especially since baalei teshuvah tend to lean more toward the yeshivish world.
I had a rebbetzin tell me last week that I should just grit my teeth and deal with the fact that my ‘dating pool’ is much smaller because of the lack of FFB women willing to date me. And everyone says I should just have more emunah. But for myself and my peers, I feel only increasing rage at an FFB world that is only too willing to let us remain single and childless for years on end because FFBs must have frum in-laws and a ‘fully yeshivish-learned’ husband or wife.
Does the FFB world have any idea of the sacrifices people like me make to become religious, and of how many perfectly eligible but secular Jewish women I gave up as potential marriage partners in doing so? I would even hazard to say that perhaps the reason G-d has afflicted the frum world with such a dating crisis has a lot to do with the way the FFB world is treating baalei teshuvah in the dating domain.
Disappointed In Dr. Mandel
I have admired Dr. Morris Mandel for the sage advice and wisdom he has given over many years. For this reason I was especially disappointed and distressed by the advice he gave in his April 25 Human Emotions column to a young man who had suffered emotional and physical abuse by his father (his mother also was treated in the same fashion).
I must be candid here: In general, I am rather skeptical of advice given by anyone through a newspaper column. It is difficult enough to analyze a person’s problem even after spending extensive time with the person. People are indeed complex organisms and often there are two or more sides to a story. There is no way one can offer advice with confidence from reading about a problem in a letter and not meeting the person face to face.
Parenthood comes with responsibility. The father of this fellow was an abuser. The damage he caused is a worse crime than if another person would have caused it. The abuse came from his father – someone who is supposed to be a model to a child over many years. If the abuse had been reported to the proper authorities, the son might have been forcibly removed from the house and the father prosecuted.
I have personally heard stories from children who have been abused – emotionally, physically, and sexually – by parents. Their side must be not only heard but studied and given the empathy they duly deserve.
Dr. Mandel admits openly that he sees only one side. A mental health professional must be able to fully comprehend both sides of a problem and offer objective advice. The great tzaddikim were able to feel the pain of those who came to them for advice.
Due to the seriousness of the problem, I suggest that this fellow seek the advice of a competent rav, someone knowledgeable in these delicate issues, who can offer proper halachic directives while taking into consideration the psychological state of the individual involved.
Mostofsky Article A Weak Defense Of Modern Orthodoxy
It seems that the main thrust of Shlomo Mostofsky’s position is that Modern Orthodox really never had an independent value system (‘Modern Orthodoxy In a Changing World,’ April 25). It was a holding position. It survived the 50’s and 60’s by maintaining a minimal adherence to
the basic halachic aspects of Shabbat and kashrut, allowing some other issues like mixed dancing and mixed swimming to blur our religious mandates. He feels we were essentially survivalist, lost in the woods and hanging on.
Today, he suggests, with the many changes in the socio-cultural environment and a stronger
Jewish educational system available to our children, we, meaning the Modern Orthodox, have
simply “evolved” into a more committed Torah lifestyle. Furthermore, he states that “even among our so-called ultra-Orthodox younger generation there are those that have televisions, VCR’s in their homes, who attend the movies, etc.” He tells us that in the work place he meets many ultra-Orthodox attorneys, accountants and businessmen. What he seems to be saying is that today there is a movement for stronger Torah observance on the part of Modern Orthodoxy while on the other hand there is a growing relaxation of the narrower Torah observance on the part of the ultra-Orthodox. In effect he seems to feel that the differences in Torah observance will slowly create a sense of shared Torah values between the Modern Orthodox and the ultra-Orthodox.
As a past president of Young Israel of Cleveland, I must take issue with his oversimplified view of the total value system of Torah life. I think he sees a Torah lifestyle as one that is limited to a halachic dimension of observance and that the only goal in life is the halachic dimension of Torah values.
Modern Orthodoxy in my mind first sees Hashem as Boreh Olam. To me the basic premise of
a meaningful Torah lifestyle is embedded in a balance between the need to see ourselves as the chosen people, abiding by the will of Hashem and His Torah, while at the same time being ever-cognizant of Hashem as Boreh Olam. It is interesting to note that when the Egyptians were drowning in the Red Sea, the angels wanted to sing shira but Hashem rebuked them. Hashem didn’t tell them to pull out the Mishneh Brurah for a p’sak, nor did He refer them to Daas Torah. He chastised them by saying “My creations are drowning and you want to sing shira, How can you forget that I am Boreh Olam!
Modern Orthodoxy attempts to create a balance between the need for growth in Hashem’s
Torah and awareness of ‘lesakain olam’ – the command to perfect the universe through the
Almighty’s sovereignty. This principle is what separates Modern Orthodoxy from the ultra-
Orthodox. (I do not mean to be demeaning or insulting to the ultra-Orthodox, but only wish to
send a message to Mr. Mostofsky that he apparently never understood the quintessential
principles of Modern Orthodoxy.)
Our children should be encouraged to attend college not only to help them find a dignified job,
but because we are mandated to understand that “yesh chochmoh ba’goyim.” This is implicit in the prayer “atah chonen l’adom daas.”
If parents are afraid of non-Jewish influence, let me strongly suggest that they, the parents,
along with the yeshivot, are responsible to prepare their children with a meaningful hashkafa. Listen to the Medrash Shmuel (Rabbi Samuel deOzeda) on Ve’da Mah She’toshuv Lapikoros (Avot 2): “…meaning know what to answer the non-believer.” He says that studying these matters is esteemed by Hashem as equal to the study of the Torah and the performance of the mitzvot!
The second cardinal principal of Modern Orthodoxy , in my view, is that we are mandated to
be m’eurov eem Habrios – to share our Jewish values with mankind including non-Jews. Every
day in our tefillos we read ‘sapru bagoyim kevodo,’ which stresses the importance of sharing our Torah values with all of the mankind. We are mandated to be a “light unto the nations.”
Lately, however, we have been passing off many chumrot as halacha in our daily lives. A local
rav here in Cleveland has compiled a list of all the kosher cereals. He goes into great detail about which cereals are produced from wheat, which from corn, which from oats, which from fruits, etc., in order for people to ascertain whether a mezonos or she’hakol should be made over the cereal. Now, there is almost no chance that an adult (and absolutely no chance that a child) will stop and review this list whenever he eats his cereal. And there is no way that any serious-minded person reciting a bracha can be makir Hashem as Boreh Olam under these circumstances.
This same ‘Cereal Rav’ has denounced the wearing of baseball caps on Shabbat, stating that
the measurement of the caps’ visors could possibly fall under the halachic limits of ohel (creating a tent ).
Shabbat should reflect our recognition of Hashem as Boreh Olam, and we certainly should
dress in a dignified fashion. However, if we tell the world, including our children, that His greatness is based on a legalistic discourse of ohel, we do a disservice to the image of Hashem — and the spirit of atah kadosh ve’shimcha kadosh is lost in the shuffle of legality. It seems to me that this principle should temper the increasingly frequent application of esoterica to practical halacha that we see in the ultra-Orthodox community. I believe that Beit Hillel in its debates with Beit Shammai understood this, and so does Modern Orthodoxy.
Finally, Modern Orthodoxy sees the concept of Am Yisrael b’Eretz Yisrael as a fundamental aspect of our hashkafa. It is difficult to understand how so many haredim can be citizens of Israel while refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the state. Haredim complain when educational funds for their institutions are cut back – and as citizens they probably are entitled to complain – yet how can they be citizens of a country they don’t recognize?
I believe the rabbis of Agudas Yisrael should fully recognize the hypocrisy of this position and
issue an edict recognizing the state of Israel. Whether or not they do so, we Modern Orthodox will continue to proudly support Medinat Yisrael.
No, Mr. Mostofsky, Modern Orthodoxy is not changing, although it may be faltering. We have been overwhelmed by a misreading of the total value system of “Torah living.” The ultra-Orthodox camp is selling the concept of learning Torah as the highest priority. We must, of course, see Hashem as nosain Hatorah and as a result spread his message by studying Torah. But we must never forget that He is first Boreh Olam. Just as we must study His ethical ways by studying Torah, so must we live in His world and study His world in order to fathom His character and midot.
Gesture Of Brotherhood