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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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Letters To The Editor


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Preemptive Actions

Your Israel correspondent Steve Walz reported (“Preemptive Strikes Thwart Terror Attacks Against Israel,” news story, Feb. 28) that recent raids by Israeli security services preempted a series of major Arab terrorist attacks.

Terrorism that almost took place does not usually make the news, and as a result many of us tend to forget how many close calls there are, and how many times the brave actions of Israeli soldiers or police officers have prevented a mass slaughter.

According to the Shin Bet, Israel’s General Security Service, six Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks last year, five of them in the West Bank territories. Far from embracing nonviolence, Palestinians in those areas have dramatically increased their use of violence in the past year: according to the Shin Bet, there were 1,271 terror attacks in 2013, up from 578 in 2012.

They would have been far more numerous if not for the preemptive actions undertaken by Israel’s security forces.

Moshe Phillips, President
Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America
Philadelphia Chapter

111-Year-Old Alexander Imich (I)

It was very touching to read the story by Beth Sarafraz about Alexander Imich (“Meeting Alexander Imich, 111 Years Old,” Feb. 28).

His life is as incredible as it is long. A man who lived such a significant life deserves to be treated with compassion and dignity. Perhaps this article will tug at the heartstrings of those who can provide help in some way. Certainly Mr. Imich’s life should be celebrated while he can witness and enjoy it.

Robin Neglia
(Via E-Mail)

111-Year-Old Alexander Imich (II)

Being both a resident of the Upper West Side and a geriatric social worker, I was inspired by Beth Sarafraz’s article on Alexander Imich to stop by his home and pay a visit along with my fiancé.

Dr. Imich was quite alert and friendly to us, which surprised me. I would think that at age 111 he might not be as oriented and alert as he proved to be. He was kind and appreciative of our visit and the flowers we brought.

I plan to visit him again and spend some more time with him. A man his age with his professional and life experience should catch the eyes and ears of everyone. It’s quite a rarity to meet someone who has witnessed so many amazing life-changing events. It makes me wonder what my generation will be remembered for and how many things I will witness, if I am lucky enough.

Kimberly Zinaman
New York, NY

Women’s Roles

I’ve read a number of articles by Rabbi Gil Student in the past and usually found them challenging and enlightening. But his op-ed of Feb. 21, “Missing the Point on Women’s Issues,” was troubling in its regressive, fearful attitude.

Rabbi Student talks a lot about separation but seems to have difficulty separating the true radicals from those who have grown up with deep religious backgrounds, sensitivity, and learning; young women who have been to outstanding Jewish high schools, spent time learning in Eretz Yisrael, and returned to chutz la’aretz or made aliyah and become some of the strongest leaders in their communities, often giving shiurim themselves while becoming professional women and wives and mothers.

We are not the Catholic Church with its rigid hierarchical system for deciding difficult issues, and even within the realm of contemporary halacha there is not necessarily only one person’s opinion to follow.

When it comes to the controversial area of what today’s religious women might do or might not do, I would remind Rabbi Student and others to review again the vast difference in outlook between the responsa of Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Ovadia Yosef on the issue of bat mitzvah.

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