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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
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Letters To The Editor

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These provisions help millions of poor and middle class people, including Jewish poor and Jewish middle class people.

Obamacare saves lives and preserves health. It also saves anxiety, time and effort for hard-pressed doctors, nurses, medical secretaries and other medical personnel who would otherwise be engaged in arguments with insurance companies and endless appeals. That, too, is chesed.

The Affordable Care Act actually moves the United States closer to the Israeli medical system.

Reuven Solomon
(Via E-Mail)

Special Characteristics

Reader Miriam Maltz Schiffman wrote movingly about spending a Shabbos with the Bomzer family of Midwood, Brooklyn (Letters, July 13).

Not only are the Bomzers wonderful hosts, they are wonderful guests as well. This past Shabbos we were fortunate to have Avy and June at our home in Hewlett. All of the qualities described by Mrs. Schiffman in her letter rang true. The bottom line is that when a person or a couple is truly special, those special characteristics will and do shine through in any situation.

Anyone involved with Avy and June is truly blessed – as we are.

Leah and Jack Diamond
Hewlett, NY

My Yarmulke, Your Yarmulke

I enjoyed reading Mordecai Bienstock’s personal journey and am happy he found a good balance of Torah and the outside world (“Birth of a Leather-Kippah Jew,” front page essay, July 13).

Understanding of course that the leather yarmulke is a metaphor, I have an addendum on the topic. I think it’s possible to be a black-velvet yarmulke Jew and be a nuclear physicist. I think you can wear a kippah serugah and learn in kollel, and even wear a black hat on top of that kippah serugah.

When my husband and I got married he was a suede yarmulke Jew. As he aged and became challenged in the follicular department he switched to wearing a black kippah serugah because the suede yarmulke slid off his head. Heeding the laws of physics, this crocheted yarmulke, larger in diameter than the suede one, would stay on his head.

The question is, did that make him frummer because it was bigger or less frum because it was crochet? To further muddy the waters, he wears a gartel on Shabbos, a black hat (weather permitting) on Friday night, and a wedding band. People actually come up to him in shul complaining, “I don’t understand you.”

It’s very simple. It is possible to hold on to your Yiddishkeit, to honor your chassidish roots, but still read The New York Times and work in the secular world.

Mr. Bienstock refers to this phenomenon as being Superman, and I agree. I only wish we could be less judgmental of each other’s “yarmulkes” and concentrate instead on what’s really important.

Dr. Chani Miller
Highland Park, NJ

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