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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Letters To The Editor

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Irving Bunim’s Zionism (I)

The article on the life of Irving Bunim brought back wonderful memories of a great man (“Irving Bunim: Torah Activist, Ardent Zionist,” op-ed, Dec. 28).

We should all offer our gratitude to his daughter Chana Rubin Ausubel for bringing to light his great love for and efforts on behalf of Israel.

It is interesting that most of us remember his work with the Vaad Hatzalah, his Pirkei Avos sessions, and his tremendous respect for and support of talmidei chachamim.

But I think I am one of many who were not aware of all that he did for Israel, before and after the state became a reality. It is definitely the icing on the cake in the life of a great man in American Jewish history.

Nechama Meyers
(Via E-Mail)

Irving Bunim’s Zionism (II)

Thank you for Chana Rubin Ausubel’s thought-provoking op-ed tribute to her father, Irving Bunim. Though I certainly had heard of Mr. Bunim, I had no idea how many mosdos he impacted and how incredibly active in tzarchei tzibbur he was. I therefore found the article to be both impressive and humbling at the same time.

While I was impressed by the tireless efforts and accomplishments of Mr. Bunim on both the individual and the klal level, I was humbled by the reality of what one determined individual can achieve. His extensive resume should inspire the rest of us to rise to the occasion as well.

Yehi Zichro Baruch.

Naomi Gross
Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel

Irving Bunim’s Zionism (III)

I would like to clarify something in the tagline of the enlightening article about Irving Bunim written by my teacher Chana Rubin Ausubel:

People came from all over the world to Machon Maayan Bina to convert to Judaism. They spoke many different languages and were taught in both English and Hebrew.

Sue Kroopnick
Beit El, Israel

Orthodoxy’s Enduring Power (I)

While I found William J. Helmreich’s piece on the history of Orthodoxy in New York (“The Enduring Power of Orthodoxy,” front page essay, Dec. 28) both educational and inspirational, I was surprised that he left out any mention of ArtScroll and the revolution it brought about in English language Judaica.

I realize Mr. Helmreich was limited in terms of space and couldn’t possibly have covered everything of importance, but anyone who remembers the state of Orthodox book publishing prior to ArtScroll can appreciate the huge difference that singular enterprise has made in the lives of Jews everywhere.

Daniel Millstein
(Via E-Mail)

Orthodoxy’s Enduring Power (II)

I enjoyed the article by Professor Helmreich. It was a succinct overview of the development of American Orthodoxy and gave proper credit to many who played a big part in its success.

I feel, though, that he left out one notable personality – and ironically enough, given the article’s prominent placement in your paper, it was Rabbi Sholom Klass, who founded The Jewish Press.

It was thanks to the articles and columns in The Jewish Press, which for years was the only newspaper of its kind, that many previously unaffiliated Jews turned to a Torah way of life. It certainly had a profound influence on me.

Amy Wall
New York, NY

Dismayed By Reaction To Kerry

I was dismayed by the sentiments expressed by Jewish organizational leaders in last week’s front-page news story, “Pro-Israel Community Warms to Prospect of John Kerry As Secretary of State.”

I am not persuaded by Abe Foxman’s meaningless statement that “We’ve had disagreements in the past, but on the whole he’s a staunch advocate and defender of the U.S.-Israel relationship and Israeli security.”

As the article points out, “Kerry often has acted as an advance man for Obama’s foreign policy, touting ideas the administration might not be ready to fully embrace. In March 2009, he called for a settlement freeze months before it became the centerpiece of tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu governments.”

This is a friend? I also think Kerry has the political and intellectual heft that Hillary Clinton, for all her fame and intelligence, does not. If I am correct, he will be a formidable adversary to Israel’s plans under a reelected Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Renee Marcus
(Via E-Mail)

Obama And Hagel

It continues to concern me that President Obama would even think of nominating Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense (“More on the Hagel Problem,” editorial, Dec. 28).

Even if Hagel were not to dominate him on Israel, how could it be that Obama would not care about the sensibilities of Jewish Americans concerning Hagel’s record on Israel and his expressed disdain for the so-called Jewish lobby?

I don’t believe Obama would ever dream of nominating someone who made derogatory statements about any other group.

Henry Horovitz
(Via E-Mail)

Beware Hamas

Steve Waltz hit the nail on the head (“Hamas Prepares for West Bank Putsch,” news story, Dec. 28). There can be no doubt that Hamas will come to predominate the Palestinian future. It is only a matter of time. Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah are incapable of thwarting it, even though it is in their political interests to do so. And then we will have a replay of Gaza and yet another base for anti-Israel terror. The only thing keeping Abbas in power is the IDF.

Gershon Nuemann
Jerusalem

New Face Of War?

Let’s hope “The Changing Face of War” (editorial, Dec. 28) is prescient. How I hope Israel will be able to defend itself without having to put its young people at risk of their lives! Not only will it save innocent Israeli lives, but it will also convince the Arab world that it cannot rely on Israel’s deep concern over its young soldiers to cause it to pull its punches.

Hilda Goldstein
(Via E-Mail)

Truman And Israel

Author Denis Brian (Letters, Dec. 28) says the reason President Truman imposed an embargo on arms to the Middle East, which was actually an embargo on arms to Israel, during the 1948 Israeli-Arab war was that “He believed that if he armed the Israelis, the Soviet Union would arm the Arabs and it might be the start of World War III.”

But the USSR supported the creation of Israel, spoke out on behalf of Jewish independence in the United Nations, voted for the UN Partition Plan, and was the first nation to give de jure diplomatic recognition to Israel, on May 17, 1948.

In the 1948 war, Israel got its largest supply of arms from the Communist government of Czechoslovakia. And the Soviet bloc countries of Poland and Czechoslovakia were among the first to give Israel de jure diplomatic recognition. So America providing arms to Israel in 1948 would hardly have led to World War III.

Reuven Solomon
(Via E-Mail)

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