web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Letters To The Editor


Letters-logo

Quick Resolution

Thanks to The Jewish Press, our shul was able to reunite a visitor with the siddur he had accidentally left behind.

By Wednesday night of last week – the same day The Jewish Press came out with my letter about the siddur – the siddur’s owner e-mailed me and let me know that numerous people had already contacted him after seeing the letter.

This incident says a lot about your paper’s reach.

Thanks so much for enabling our shul to fulfill the mitzvah of hashavas aveidah.

Rabbi Akiva Males
Kesher Israel Congregation
Harrisburg, PA

Specter Fought Like A Giant

Re “Arlen Specter Remembered As Iconoclast Who Enjoyed Tangling With Tyrants” (news story, Oct. 19):

I am proud to say that late Sen. Specter was a friend of mine. He was the toughest man I ever knew. No matter how difficult the situation was, he stood up like a giant and fought – and with a ready smile.

Everything I ever asked him to do to help Israel, he did – from linking Palestinian aid to compliance with Oslo; to fighting Arab terrorists; to supporting moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; to opposing Strobe Talbott, a hostile Israel critic, for undersecretary of state.

Specter was Israel’s best friend among the 13 Jewish senators. (Few knew that two of his sisters were Orthodox, with one living in Israel.) His passing was a great loss to Israel, America, and to me. I already miss him terribly.

Morton A. Klein
President
Zionist Organization of America

A Survivor’s Plea

I was born in Poland, and as a young boy I listened to Hitler say on the radio that his aim was to decimate the Jewish people. He did just that, killing six million Jews on the European continent. Today I hear the same from Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He wants to build nuclear bombs to wipe Israel and America off the map.

Yet we aren’t doing anything to stop Iran, just as incompetent and ignorant European leaders, such as Neville Chamberlain, didn’t do anything to stop Hitler in the early 1930s.

President Obama has visited Israel only once – during the 2008 election season. He hasn’t been there since. He did have time, however, to travel to Cairo where he promised the Muslim world a new beginning. In that infamous speech, he criticized Israel for the sufferings of the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. He also criticized western Christian nations for oppressing the Muslim world while failing to criticize Muslim fundamentalists for killing Americans.

Therefore, as a Holocaust survivor concerned for our future, I plead with my fellow Americans: Please don’t vote for Barack Obama on November 6. We can’t afford another four years of this man.

Larry Wenig
(Via E-Mail)

Liberal Christian Hypocrisy

I don’t know what alleged specific accusations of human rights violations the fifteen leaders of the Christian churches are referring to in their calls for Congress to reconsider U.S. aid to Israel (“Liberal Protestants Show Their True Colors,” editorial, Oct. 19).

Are these leaders aware that there are three formal documents from the three main umbrella Palestinian groups of Fatah, the PLO, and Hamas, all calling for the destruction of Israel?

Are the ministers aware that there were more annual Israeli civilian deaths from Palestinian terrorism after the Oslo “peace” agreements than in the 50 years before the supposed peace agreements were signed? The wall the Israelis built to protect themselves from Palestinian suicide bombers isn’t the obstacle to peace. The obstacles to peace are the Palestinian suicide bombers themselves, and a Palestinian leadership that supports and glorifies the Palestinian suicide bombers by naming squares and parks after them.

William K. Langfan
Palm Beach, FL

Rosenblatt v. Silverman: A Culture War

The numerous comments we’ve received at JewishPress.com responding to Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt’s open letter to comedian Sarah Silverman (op-ed, Oct. 12) are fascinating. Once you get past the expletives, you can learn a lot about the culture that produced them. The statements and the tone of the comments demonstrate the differences, even the massive gap, between Jewish culture and Jewish-American culture.

Rabbi Rosenblatt addressed a public figure who has no problems exposing her inner self and saying whatever is on her mind on any subject, no matter how offensive or inappropriate it might be to anyone. The rabbi questioned what her underlying motives might be and offered what he believes is the answer. He couched his message, as Silverman sometimes does hers, in his notion of Judaic values and cultural identity.

Certainly it’s permissible, possible, even easy to disagree with Rabbi Rosenblatt’s explanation and worldview. I certainly expected to see some intelligent conversations developing around the article. But why all the openly hostile obscenity?

Silverman’s father’s foul-mouthed reaction was the first indication that Rabbi Rosenblatt had inadvertently hit a very raw nerve.

By and large, the commenters were using an obvious double standard.

They claimed the rabbi crossed the line; the rabbi was offensive; the rabbi was (fill in the obscene word) – and followed it up with their thoughts on Judaism (in some cases displaying ignorance and hatred). Yet Silverman, who prides herself on her “potty mouth” and crossing the verbal line on many social mores, is untouchable and can do no wrong.

When Sarah Silverman, on video, propositions Sheldon Adelson, using her doggie in mock soft-porn as substitute for the elderly billionaire – that’s humorous and acceptable.

When Rabbi Rosenblatt tells Sarah Silverman to get married and have children, though, that’s an expression of hatred and intolerance.

The question is, why?

I propose that many of the Jewish-American commenters got so upset because the rabbi crossed a line. The line he crossed, though, was not about his views on motherhood but rather his views on the role of the rabbi and of Judaism.

Judaism, to some of those commenters, belongs locked in a box in a synagogue and should never be allowed out to offer any moral observations, opinions or guidelines that disagree with the most permissive of Western cultural values.

As expressed by some of these commenters, Silverman actually represents “Judaism” to them.

Some of them may have a list of humanitarian/liberal values they call Jewish, while taking traditional Jewish practices such as Shabbat and kashrut (as well as Judaism’s own social values) and relegating them to archaic, comical, even dark places in the culture.

For them, Judaism is liberalism – a definition under which anything is permitted, alongside a strong pride in their cultural/ethnic identity as Jews, regardless of whether that identity actually represents a Jewish value system or an accident of birth.

The question is certainly open as to whether the rabbi was right or wrong in his analysis of Silverman, but one thing is clear: he rattled something deep and painful in the psyches of those who define themselves as cultural/ethnic Jews without having any actual Judaism to go with it.

Stephen Leavitt
Jerusalem

Editor’s Note: The writer manages JewishPress.com, The Jewish Press Internet Division.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Letters To The Editor”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D)
BiPartisan U.S. Effort to Ensure Hamas Disarmed Before Ceasefire
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

IDF soldier injured in Gaza is evacuated by helicopter to Soroka hospital.

The residents of Gaza were not occupied by the Hamas; they voted for the terror organization in democratic elections, by a huge majority, by virtue of its uncompromising struggle against Israel. For this reason, the separation between the armed Hamas terrorists and those ‘not involved’ or ‘innocents’ is false. The Gazans are now paying for […]

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-223/2012/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: