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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
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Letters To The Editor


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Sandy’s Aftermath (I)

Re: “Jewish Communities Among Dozens Decimated By Hurricane Sandy” (front page news story, Nov. 2):

I wonder why President Obama was given such a pass on Hurricane Sandy. The devastation in New York was incredible. My neighborhood is still without power and heat, countless basements are still under water and will need total renovation, and there continue to be long lines lasting hours at those gas stations that mange to get gas. Mass transit is only slowly creeping back.

Yet Obama came to New Jersey and spoke glowingly of his administration’s having pre-positioned food and fuel and other necessities. Then he left almost as soon as he came, leaving all of us to cope with the realities on the ground. One big photo op, that’s all it was.

Harold Miller
(Via E-Mail)

Sandy’s Aftermath (II)

I used to have respect for Mayor Bloomberg even if I found myself disagreeing with him on such things as Sunday metered parking, the midtown stadium plan and the metzitzah b’peh controversy. But he always seemed to be a smart person of rock-hard confidence, vision and the ability to rise above the petty yapping of others.

So I was surprised and embarrassed by his initial refusal to postpone the New York City Marathon in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. How could he have thought even for a moment of diverting resources like police, generators, food, water and hotel space to accommodate the runners?

He should have been spending all his time thinking about how to alleviate the widespread suffering and encouraging all of us to spend our time helping those overtaken by the catastrophe rather than concerning himself with something so relatively unimportant.

Yitzchok Bernstein
(Via E-Mail)

Israel Needs A Unified Government

I’m not sure I understand the ins and outs of Israeli politics and what exactly the ramifications of a “political juggernaut” will be in the usual political sense (“Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu Election Merger Creates Political Juggernaut,” news story, Nov. 2).

What I do understand is that in the months ahead Israel will need a very strong government to deal with the growing Iranian threat and a probable confrontation with Tehran, as well as what I believe will be increasing challenges from Gaza and Hizbullah. More than ever, a united Israel is crucial.

Chava Stein
Jerusalem

Liberal Churches’ Misguided Focus

The most puzzling aspect of the request by liberal Protestant leaders that Congress cut aid to Israel is the timing (“R.I.P. for an R.S.V.P.”, op-ed, Oct. 26).

At a time when so many minority Christian populations throughout the Muslim world are being decimated by murderous attacks – including churches being torched while parishioners are inside – and are fleeing to any countries open to them, surely these liberal church officials would better serve their co-religionists by restraining the overt animus they harbor toward Israel and focus instead on the life-threatening challenges facing Christians in Muslim-dominated countries.

Fay Dicker
Lakewood, NJ

Confused By Columnist

I was confused by Rabbi Avi Weiss’s Nov. 2 column, “An Alternative View of the Binding of Isaac.” Rabbi Weiss seems to derive from the Akeidah that God is served “by living and sanctifying every moment of existence” rather than dying in the name of Hashem. How does he then reconcile the concept of yeharog v’al ya’avor regarding certain mitzvot?

Louis Weissman
(Via E-Mail)

Don’t Bash Police

I applaud Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes for dismissing all charges against Ehud Halevy (”New Yorkers Protest Police Beatings; Charges Against Victim Dropped,” news story, Oct. 26).

From what we already know, Halevy seems to have been a victim of circumstance and was not the instigator of the incident. But it would be wrong to generalize from this. Police have a very dangerous job to perform and we should not simply assume they are overreacting.

We should also not resist police even when we feel we are right. It is foolhardy and dangerous. It could also constitute a crime in itself. I think this is something the politicians who rallied for Halevy should have pointed out.

Chaim Dressen
(Via E-Mail)

Stories, Dedications Welcome For New Carlebach Biography

Are you a Shlomo Carlebach fan? Do you have a Carlebach story? A book has been written about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach that is sweeping in scope and destined to become the definitive biography of a charismatic teacher whose influence on Jewish music and liturgy is arguably greater than that of any other person in recent Jewish history.

I have learned that for a limited time only the author will still be able to include references to a few more events and stories. More important, the publisher has agreed to accept additional dedication pages.

This book is sure to become not just a must read for all admirers of Rabbi Carlebach, but also the classic reference work for future studies about Reb Shlomo. It is being published as volume 4 in the popular Modern Jewish Lives Series put out by Urim, the dynamic publishers of Judaica in America and Israel. The author, Rabbi Dr. Natan Ophir (Offenbacher), graduated Yeshiva University, received rabbinic ordination at Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and obtained an MA and Ph.D. in Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he served as the campus rabbi for 16 years.

Please share this news with your friends immediately or risk being too late. This is a unique opportunity for you to be included in a monumental undertaking. Write today for more information to Natan21@zahav.net.il

Rabbi Aaron I. Reichel, Esq.
New York, NY

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