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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
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Letters To The Editor


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Obama And Jewish Voters (I)

Reader Robert Gelb is living in a parallel universe when he derides President Obama’s Jewish detractors, claiming they will never believe anything positive about him regarding Israel (Letters, Sept. 21).

Has Mr. Gelb – and all the other Jews who in six weeks will once again vote for Obama in huge numbers – never heard about Obama’s self-proclaimed mission to reset the relationship between America and the Muslim world? Exactly who does Mr. Gelb think will have to bear the cost of the change in the status quo, if not Israel?

Leslie Miller
(Via E-Mail)

Obama And Jewish Voters (II)

If the polls are accurate, two-thirds of Jews will vote in November for a Democratic Party that no longer exists. The party of FDR and Hubert Humphrey that they knew has been hijacked by radical leftists who angrily opposed the decision to put recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital back in the 2012 party platform.

Two-thirds of Jews will vote for a president who insults Israel’s prime minister while bowing at the waist to Arab dictators with the blood of Israelis and Americans on their hands.

As soon as Obama was caught on an open microphone telling President Medvedev of Russia that he will be “more flexible” in his second term, there should have been no illusions about what he has planned for Israel and America in a second term.

For the sake of their children and grandchildren, Jews should end their mindless support of Obama, a post-Constitutional president who rules like a dictator with executive orders and Chicago-style thuggery.

George Rubin
New York, NY

Feeble Response

The feeble response of President Obama and his administration to the vile murder of our ambassador and to the violent demonstrations against our embassies has shocked all decent Americans.

It seems our president not only believes in redistributing U.S. wealth but also in relinquishing U.S. power. What a shame and a sham to project the farce that an insignificant movie galvanized such anti-American mob action.

Are we to apologize for our sacred belief in free speech? I still remember when Nazis marched in Skokie. Even Nazis – who epitomize bestial behavior –were protected by our Bill of Rights. Is the administration simply scared of standing up to Muslim terrorists? Was the president so certain that all is well that he did not ensure our embassies were sufficiently protected on the anniversary of 9/11? Or was he too busy to care for such matters as he prepared for his appearance on the David Letterman show?

I was born in America. I love America and am proud of its ideals. This president does not understand how hurtful is the feeling when our leader seems to shy away from championing basic American values.

Obama blew his opportunity to manifest true presidential leadership. What a terrible embarrassment for our people. This is not the type of courage and leadership needed in a president.

Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
West Palm Beach, FL

Editor’s Note: Rabbi Cohen writes the weekly “Halachic Questions” column for The Jewish Press.

Government And Metzizah B’Peh

I think the brouhaha over metzitzah b’peh is artificially driven. While I suppose that restricting the practice could conceivably – though this is really a far-fetched scenario – result in restrictions on bris milah per se, how can one take the position that the government has no role in protecting a newborn from the transmission of disease?

This is not a contrived concern or subterfuge. Do supporters of metzitzah b’peh really believe that the rampant presence of herpes and other viruses in the population has no relevance at all to physical contact with a baby’s open wound?

Aaron Michaels
(Via E-Mail)

Critiquing The Times

Re “Déjà vu All Over Again? (editorial, September 21):

The Jewish Press performs an important service to the community with its incisive critiques of New York Times editorials, columns and news articles. The Times often informs as well as reflects the public debate over significant issues, and the leaps of logic and lack of balance that are carried in its pages are often not all that apparent.

For years I treated the Times almost as the purveyor of the revealed word. Not anymore. Keep it up.

Irving Kleinman
(Via E-Mail)

The Inspiring And Illustrious Dayan Grunfeld

Full-Length Bio Needed

Raphael Grunfeld’s front-page essay (“My Father, Dayan Grunfeld,” Sept.14) provides some fascinating information about a man who did so much for Yiddishkeit during his lifetime. In particular, I found some of the recollections about how his father lived his personal life inspiring.

I would like to encourage the author to write a full-length biography of his father, as not enough people know much about the life of this great man and his accomplishments.

Dr. Yitzchok Levine
Brooklyn, NY

Editor’s Note: Dr. Levine writes “Glimpses Into American Jewish History,” which appears in The Jewish Press the first week of each month.

Blessed To Have Such Leaders

The portrait Raphael Grunfeld painted of his father underscores the fact that the Jewish people have often been blessed with individuals thoroughly versed in all aspects of the Torah who also possess the requisite insight and intellect to provide direction in everyday pursuits and rise to the challenges faced by fellow Jews.

Dayan Grunfeld was just such an inspirational giant.

Devorah Schwartz
(Via E-Mail)

Church And State

While I thoroughly enjoyed Raphael Grunfeld’s paean to his illustrious father, I disagree with one of his observations. The son cites his father for the proposition that “the origins of the Holocaust could be traced back to the emergence of the Renaissance era with its separation of God and the State….”

But weren’t the Crusades fought by the secular state on behalf of the church? Were not most pogroms inspired by the anti-Semitism imbibed by European peasants Sunday after Sunday from the local Catholic priests? And wasn’t the relentless persecution of European Jews throughout the centuries based on the state’s championing of Catholicism?

It seems to me that anti-Semitism is rooted in unity between church and state, not separation of the two.

Harold Bernstein
(Via E-Mail)

Dayan Grunfeld And The ‘Exodus’

I first heard of Dayan Grunfeld when I was ten years old in Gateshead, England. I had known some aspects of his life and family but I discovered something new in Raphael Grunfeld’s front-page essay: That the rabbi involved in the Cyprus crisis in Leon Uris’s novel Exodus was based on Dayan Grunfeld.

I myself have some personal connections with the story. The money for the famous ship was given to my mother, Rebbetzin Feuerwerker, to hide in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris. She hid it under my father’s bed, knowing that nobody would suspect my father, Rabbi Dr. David Feuerwerker, the rav of Neuilly. My sister Atara played with those golden coins, but to make sure the secret wouldn’t get out, she was told they were buttons.

My aunt, Rose Gluck (later Warfman), together with the abbé Alexandre Glasberg, a Jewish-born Catholic priest who saved thousands of Jews during the Shoah and was posthumously recognized by Yad Vashem as a “Righteous among the Nations,” wrote all the false identification papers for the passengers of the “Exodus.” She told me they spent hours doing that work, without much talk. The job had to be done.

My aunt will be 96 on October 4. She is a survivor of Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen, a member of the French Résistance, and an officer of the Legion of Honor, the most prestigious medal awarded by the French government. She lives in Manchester, England, and is the matriarch of a chassidic family.

Dr. Elie Feuerwerker
Highland Park, NJ

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