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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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Letters To The Editor


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The Futility Of Sanctions

If anyone still harbors any thought that President Obama’s plan to coerce Iran through economic sanctions to abandon its nuclear weapons program might work, he or she should read the front page news story in last week’s Jewish Press (“Iran: No Retreat On Nuclear Program”).

Mr. Ahmadinejad – who after all is in a position to know – said it straight out: “We are not a people to retreat on the nuclear issue…. If somebody thinks they can pressure Iran, they are certainly wrong. And they must correct their behavior.”

We ought not follow the lead of those who wishfully see a link between the worsening of the Iranian economy, which is obvious, and some future political decision to abandon nuclear weapons.

Mindy Abrams
(Via E-Mail)

Abbas’s ‘Scholarship’

I enjoyed Dr. Richard L. Cravatts’s “A Monumental Distortion of History” (front page essay, Oct. 5). I think however, that whenever Mahmoud Abbas’s “scholarship” is evaluated by serious people, he wins just by having been taken seriously.

The truth is, anyone who denies the existence or import of the evidence of the Holocaust is not a scholar by definition – and by the same token, not a partner for peace with Jews anywhere. Israel and the world should just move on past this slick extremist in moderate clothing.

Howard Miller
Los Angeles, CA

The Mullahs And Obama

I was intrigued by last week’s “An Iranian November Surprise” editorial. It is not so far-fetched that the mullahs would think they could play our president – a man who does seems obsessed with currying favor with the Arabs/Muslim world. What do they lose if they string us along and stretch things out past the election?

Rose Wilk
(Via E-Mail)

Depressing Prayers?

It was troubling to read the essay by a Stern College student about the tefillot for the Yamim Noraim not being “upbeat” enough (“God, Are You Threatening Me?” Personal Perspectives, Sept. 28).

Actually, Jews are not a morose people and we are taught to be joyful in our celebrations. In fact, our holidays are filled with warmth and festive worship. Therefore, to “snort with laughter” during the Unesaneh Tokef tefillah on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, when the book of life is open before our Creator, seems like the ultimate chutzpah.

Writer Hannah Dreyfus is upset that God is threatening her and explains that is why her generation, like her charges in summer camp, has a problem with obeying authority. Well, Ms. Dreyfus, life is not summer camp. Hashem does not promise us a prize if we behave. Perhaps you need to take a careful look around your shul, or read the newspaper, or listen to the news and notice how many people around you are affected by disease and war and the many natural disasters mentioned in the prayer written so many years ago but still applicable today.

We are supposed to look carefully at our deeds and ourselves and to pray for the benevolence of a caring and loving God who gives us so many opportunities to change our ways and become better people. This in itself is our reward, to be a shining example to the rest of the world.

Estelle Glass
Teaneck, NJ

A Working Mother Responds

I am a frum working mother of three, and while I am not judging Ziona Greenwald’s decision to be a stay-at-home mother (“Revaluing Motherhood,” op-ed, Sept. 28), I do take issue with some of her comments.

To give you some background about myself, I went to a Bais Yaakov school and then continued on to higher education. I pursued a career in the finance field where I am still active in today. But I am by no means a feminist. My mother never worked outside the home. She was there to wake us up in the morning, give us breakfast, put us on the bus and wave goodbye. Her time at home allowed her to be fully involved in all of her children’s schoolwork and extracurricular activities. The house was clean, the meals were prepared and the laundry was done. We had everything we needed and more. She was there to greet us when we came home and spent her nights tidying up and getting us ready for bed.

Well, guess what? I do the exact same thing. The only difference is that after that whole morning routine I’m off to work. I have a junior high-schooler to put on the bus at 7 a.m., an elementary-schooler at 8 a.m. and a preschooler at 9 a.m. In between I am trying my hardest to make myself presentable so that I can walk into my office looking professional and polished.

Ms. Greenwald, don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. But I do need to point out that while you yearn for some camaraderie, I don’t even have time for camaraderie! Be happy and content knowing you can go to the park at ten in the morning with your child and not have to report to a boss. Relish the fact that you have this precious time to spend at home with your children.

You mentioned that being there to care for your children around the clock is of utmost importance to you and your husband and that your decision to be a “full-time mother” has been a good one.

My husband and I never really made a decision that I would work. When we got married I had already started working in my field and it just made sense to continue. But though I work outside the home, my responsibilities as a mother are 24/7. I am the one the school calls if there is a problem, not the babysitter. I am the one who runs to school to bring my son the assignment he left at home (albeit during my lunch break), not the babysitter. I am the one who picks up my sick child from school, not the babysitter. After all is said and done, I am still Mommy.

While my husband and I have both pursued professional careers, we have always held steadfast to the belief that he is first a ben Torah and that I am first a bas Yisrael. We are both equally committed to our children and to the job of raising them as true b’nei Torah and b’nos Yisrael.

I am sorry you feel ostracized for making the home your workplace. I do not support the negative insinuations at all. Let’s work together and support each other no matter which derech each of us has chosen and hopefully, with Hashem’s help, we will see the coming of Mashiach bimheirah b’yameinu.

Miriam Goldstein
(Via E-Mail)

Obama’s Failed Ideology

We are a group of American citizens from the former Soviet Union who are deeply concerned with the speeches and ideas of President Obama in which he downplays the role of private initiative and ownership as the foundation of the well-being of our country.

For some Americans, socialist ideas may seem interesting, new and attractive. For us, however, there is nothing new and attractive in them at all. We heard these Marxist theories in the totalitarian countries of our previous residence. In fact, the entire Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was orchestrated under these dangerous and utopian slogans. We fled from there to America with its freedom and private initiative.

America’s greatness was built under capitalism; it is a source of its wellbeing and strength. As any economic system, capitalism requires development but not replacement by the socialism that failed in Europe and around the world and is not needed in America.

It is clear to us that Obama’s misguided ideas about the direction of the development of America are damaging the future of our beloved country, as well as that of Europe and Israel. We are confident that America does not need President Obama’s socialist experiments that history has shown to be a failure.

Former Refugees for Freedom and Capitalism in America

Nelly Braginsky, activist, mother of 9/11 victim (NY); Ihil Brodsky, activist (IL); Dr. Daniel Golubev, writer (NY); Anatoly Gershgorin, political columnist (NY); Ella Zarider, activist (NY); Pyotr Yefimov, writer (MA); Semyon Itskovich, scientist and columnist (IL); Vladimir Kigel, teacher, publisher and writer (NJ); Iosif Lakhman, activist (MA); Ilya Levkov, publisher, writer (NY); Mikhail Margolin, writer (NJ); Polina and Lev Mendelevich, community activists (NY); Yuri Okunev, Ph.D., scientist and writer (NY); Vladimir Opendik, writer (NY); Vitaly Raevsky, Ph.D., scientist and writer (MD); Julian Rapaport, engineer, activist and writer (NJ); Viktor Snitkovski, writer (MA); Leonid Stonov, activist (IL).

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