Better Use For F-15s

The Sharon government was justifiably praised by Jewish commentators for the symbolic flyover by three IAF F-15s over Auschwitz recently.

Yet, these same commentators do not censure the same government for not utilizing these aircraft in the war against Arab terrorists. Instead of using these planes to pulverize manned terrorist strongholds and hiding places, as the U.S. did so effectively in Afghanistan and Iraq, Israel has its soldiers endanger their lives in ground assaults to eliminate and/or apprehend Arab terrorists (many of whom were recklessly released by the Israeli government as gestures of peace, only to kill again).

Such a policy is immoral and already responsible for the needless death and injury of too many IDF soldiers. As bereaved parents have charged, the Israeli government seems to be more concerned about the children of our enemies than about our own children.

Mr. Sharon, the precious soldiers of the IDF are not cannon fodder. This New Year, it is long past time for policy changes if you do not want to see regime change in Israel.

Henry J. Moscovic
(Via E-Mail)

New View Of Jews

I am a non-Jewish reader of the online edition of The Jewish Press. I was introduced to your
website about a year ago when I read an article from your newspaper that was posted on another website. A hyperlink was provided, so I clicked over to and was instantly hooked.

To be perfectly honest, I’d always thought all Jews were liberal, secular agnostic types. I got that impression from seeing all the Jewish ACLU lawyers on TV fighting against any semblance of religion in the public sphere, and from reading about the leaders of all the radical, anti-family groups in the country – most of whom always seemed to have Jewish names.

The fact that Jews tend to support the most left-wing candidates in elections, both local and
national, was even more proof to me that today’s Jewish Americans had almost no connection to the biblical Nation of Israel and its G-d.

You can imagine, therefore, how surprised and pleased I was when I discovered The Jewish Press and realized that not all Jews support the agendas forced on the rest of the country by shrill feminists and stomach-turning gay activists.

I thank you and wish you much continued success in the year ahead.

Hayden Phillips
Tulsa, OK

Sen. Blowhard

Jason Maoz once again hit the nail right on the head with his scathing criticism of that bloated
blowhard Ted Kennedy (Media Monitor, Oct. 17). Only in America – or should I say only in Massachusetts – could such an embarrassment continue to be reelected time after time to the U.S. Senate, simply because his name is Kennedy.

I guarantee you that if Kennedy and his fellow Democrats were currently in charge in Washington, not only would Saddam Hussein still be in power, but al Qaeda would be in much stronger shape and the phony charity groups shut down by the Bush administration would still be very much in business raising funds for Muslim terrorists.

After all, look at how Kennedy and his comrades jumped to do the bidding of Islamist groups in the recent controversy over Daniel Pipes.

Yitzchak Blau
(Via E-Mail)

Security Suggestion

I have been in the business of security systems for the past 35 years and hold several patents for security systems licensed to such companies as Grumman and Lockheed.

I would like to suggest that no one in Israel be allowed to enter a bus or restaurant without removing his or her jacket or long coat. Since terrorists use robes or jackets to conceal numerous grenades, nails and explosives that kill men, women and children, forcing everyone to remove jackets and coats could save lives. It does not take very long to remove a jacket or coat, and it’s just as quick to put it back on once the check is completed.

If this could be mandated at public places, bus stops and pick up points throughout Israel, perhaps fewer lives would be snuffed out.

Kalman Drebin
Brooklyn, NY

Small Act, Big Lesson

On Monday, October 13, we were recipients of an act of (roadside) kindness. I wish to publicly acknowledge that act not only as a thank you, but as an example of the beauty of our religion.

About 50 miles north of Baltimore (we were on a mission to visit the ill), a tire blew. Stopped on the shoulder of the Maryland Turnpike, we summoned help. Since time was important and the help was not yet there, I tried to flag down one of the many large trucks streaming past. None stopped. Subsequently assistance arrived in the form of a Maryland state trooper (whom we also want to thank).

Just as he began to work, a black sedan pulled up behind his. Out stepped two men in traditional black coats and hats. They said they stopped to see if we needed any assistance. We gave them a shalom aleichem and a hearty thank you. Since the state troopers were already there, they left.

This may seem like only a small act of kindness, but to me it is the type of thing that can inspire
more Jews to want to learn Torah and non-Jews to be appreciative of its merits.

Again, thank you to the two gentlemen.

S. Drapkin
Briarwood, NY

Israeli Orthodox Also At Fault

True, the Orthodox community in Eretz Yisrael is facing serious problems. But Rabbi Menachem Porush (‘Orthodox Jewry, Where Are You?’ Jewish Press, October 17) is leading everyone astray. Many of the votes that Tommy Lapid’s party, Shinui, received were from voters who are very questionably Jewish. If Agudas Yisroel, Shas and Mizrachi (NRP) had pushed for ‘Mi Yehudi,’ those questionable Jews would not have been able to vote and Shinui would not have gained the number of seats they presently have.

Social services are also being denied to the Orthodox community. But again, if the religious parties has demanded the need for shlamus ha?eretz and not allowed the ‘land for peace’ initiatives to take hold, the IDF would have been able to defeat the terrorist organizations, tourism would have been productive for the country, and funding would have been available for the social services so desperately needed.

Rabbi Porush and the Orthodox community in Eretz Yisrael moan and groan and lift up their arms in despair – but they refuse to acknowledge that their own actions have contributed to these problems.

Yaakov Rogalsky
Brooklyn, NY

Pesach In Israel

Now that Sukkos is over, we will soon begin seeing a proliferation of advertisements for Pesach programs all over the world – sometimes in the most unlikely places.

I would urge Jewish Press readers to consider the ultimate destination for Pesach – Israel. The
hotel deals are great; they may not have 24-hour-a-day tea rooms, but the food at the Renaissance Hotel where we stayed last year would rival any hotel in the U.S. or elsewhere in terms of quality and quantity.

As for ‘entertainment’ – how about joining tens of thousands of your fellow Jews at the Kotel on chol hamoed for the birkat cohanim ? an unbelievable experience. How about a tiyul on chol hamoed to Sefat, the Galil, etc.

And how about considering Israel because your fellow Jew there who owns a store or works as a tour guide or a waiter needs your visit to feed his family for Pesach?

Leshanah haba’ah b?Yerushalayim.

Rhoda Vogel Wachsstock
Passaic, NJ

Don’t Blame Orthodox Singles For Their Predicament

Insensitive Criticism

In your issue of Oct. 10 you published a letter from Dr. Yaakov Stern, who seems to think that we should continue to hide our heads in the sand about all the negative that is unfortunately in evidence when it comes to some shadchanim and the shidduch scene.

I say this because he wrote that he was tired of hearing complaints about “…unscrupulous
shadchanim and uncaring acquaintances who turn deaf ears to their (i.e. singles?) plight, but it is all a bunch of hooey.”

Dr. Stern also implies that since there are so many resources for singles to find dates and/or
potential mates, those who are still single must be so because they want to remain single. I must have missed the good news that klal Yisrael has overcome the shidduchim problems based on too much stress being placed on yichus, money, unwarranted prejudice against baalei teshuvah, geirim, and children of divorce, etc.

A bit of caution, Dr. Stern: saying “…it is all a bunch of hooey” sounds foolish, is ill considered,
and could make you sound like a kofer. Hashem still runs the world on a daily basis, and that
includes who meets whom, who gets married, and when it happens. It is all up to Him – and this could even explain why so many chasunas start late!

You should consider that in many cases, any given single’s ultimate shidduch is right around
the corner and Hashem just needs to work it out. Take a look at Midrash B’reishis 68:5 (according to the Judaic Classics Library Deluxe Edition); making shidduchim is what Hashem has been doing since He finished creating the world. For some singles their shidduch – like some letter writers – are a work in progress. Even if we don’t consider these basic emunah concepts, what about the well-known issue of tzadik v’ra lo (or tzadekes v’ra la for that matter)? Any given single may just not be responsible for his or her single status.

There are many fine people who deserve good shidduchim, but maybe Hashem feels they need to learn something, or do something (maybe even non-shidduch related issues) before they move on to the next stage of their lives. And there can be many other legitimate reasons why someone is still single in today’s Jewish society.

Finally, and most unfortunately, Dr. Stern seems to ignore the fact that his insensitive blanket statements can be so hurtful to people who have suffered so much in this parsha. Not to
mention the fact that his words make him sound like one of those uncaring people who turn a deaf ear to the plight of singles.

To finish on a constructive note, we need to pay attention to Rabbi Pesach Krohn’s advice – we need to make shidduchim that make sense.

Eliezer A. Weitz
(Via E-Mail)

Unfair Stereotypes

I’m sure Dr. Stern meant well when he wrote his latest letter to The Jewish Press, but it was not well received. What I hope was intended to be helpful and inspiring came off as insulting and demeaning.

The accusation that “Any person trapped in the singles conundrum is there by his or her own
doing and can extricate himself or herself with the proper hishtadlus” denies on its face the role that Hashem plays in the parsha. Granted there are individuals who can be doing more to help
themselves, but there are those who are doing the best that they can do. When one puts in all of his hishtadlus but it still doesn’t work, as frum Jews we have only one answer – that it is ratzon Hashem and that He is providing the nisayon as a means for growth.

I wonder if Dr. Stern would use the same harsh rhetoric for those suffering with other problems. Would he tell the couple grappling with infertility (despite having consulted top doctors and undergone numerous expensive treatments) to stop crying and try harder? How about the cancer sufferer – is it his fault the chemotherapy isn’t working?

For some inexplicable reason society has deemed the hardship faced by single people to be
within their control to change. Unfortunately, that stereotype only serves to further degrade the
individuals and makes their nisayon that much harder. Yomim tovim are hard enough for single
people who cannot celebrate with their own spouse and children but instead must suffer in silence with a smile to the world as they celebrate again with their siblings’ or friends’ families.

The beginning of Sefer Shmuel teaches us about Shmuel’s mother, Chana, who was suffering
with infertility. Her sister Penina used a similar approach to Dr. Stern’s in order to facilitate Chana to daven harder. While in the end it helped Chana, Penina’s life took a tragic turn. We would all be better served if people like Dr. Stern would offer words of encouragement – and better yet, would step up to the plate and make shidduchim.

Esther Blachman
(Via E-Mail)

Stop Pointing Fingers

Dr. Stern should “Get with the program” and stop offering advice based on the “outdated
products of his life experiences.”

Anyone who pays close attention to his letter will notice that he contradicts himself. First he
says “the problem is definitely the singles,” and then he goes on about how a shadchan would try to dissuade a single who asked for what he or she really wanted. Bingo – that’s the problem, exactly by his own admission. We are dealing with a shidduch system in which honesty and openness are discouraged; in which shadchanim think they know what’s best for you better than you do and try to push you into situations that you know good and well are not for you at all.

To top it all off, we are told by the shadchanim and even total outsiders like Dr. Stern that we are being “picky” and it is our fault we are still single. The answer is for us to be honest? We
are trying to be honest ? isn?t anyone listening?

Instead of criticizing singles, Dr. Stern should be criticizing the sometimes well-meaning but
often obnoxious shadchanim on whom we must rely as the only vehicle to meet our soulmate. It is they who discourage honesty, twist facts to make things seem more appealing, and then accuse us of being picky precisely because we know what we do and don’t want. (‘So the girl is a foot taller, twice as wide, five years older, can’t read and thinks Alaska is a recipe? So what? She’ll still make a good chullent! Do you want to get married or not?’)

To point the finger at singles for this mess is to be downright insulting.

If people like Dr. Stern would stop pointing fingers and look at the system for what it is – a
fancy and time-consuming “pick a name from the hat” game – and instead come up with some
creative solutions, we would all be better off.

Judah Stein
(Via E-Mail)

No Constructive Suggestions

I was appalled that The Jewish Press would print a hurtful, insulting and absurd letter like the
one from Dr. Stern. I think his assessment of the problem is not only totally inaccurate, but it clearly shows that he has not been involved in the shidduch system any time recently. There are thousand of singles, with very reasonable expectations, who have simply not yet met the
right one and putting the blame on us for our difficult situation is hurtful to all of us.

The way I see it, the problem is that people are being set up by complete strangers who are
putting them together based on guesswork. With this system it can take years to find the right one. To compound the problem, many people who had the good fortune of meeting their bashert on the first shot assume that it must have been their expertise and talent that made them find their mate so quickly. Instead of setting people up and offering assistance, they blame those who are still single.

I’m not really sure how Dr. Stern proposes to solve the singles problem. He hasn’t really made
clear how singles are supposed to find the person they seek once they determine what it is they’re looking for. As for his suggestion that those who only about beauty should be honest with themselves and just simply marry a pretty girl – well, I don’t know if that advice would help the singles rate, but it would certainly raise the divorce rate.

Tzipora Krieger
(Via E-Mail)

Readers Defend President Bush

Thank Your Lucky Stars

Reader Edward Horn’s harangue against President Bush (‘Big Bad Bush,’ Letters, Oct. 17) is reminiscent of the liberal pap about moral and political relativism that has brought our country to the point of disaster. Hasn’t 9/11 taught him anything? Nobody likes the unsettling idea that
the United States is as risk – far more than even at the time of the U.S./Soviet nuclear rivalry. In those years, there was at least a mutual deterrent effect. Now the U.S. is the target of those who have little to lose and are hard to apprehend.

President Bush is the first president who has refused to sweep things under the rug and leave
festering problems as a legacy for the next generation. September 11 came about because
prior presidents were not willing to face the growing problem of terrorism, despite the evidence.

Moreover, those who are concerned about Israel should thank their lucky stars that the
United States has a president who is not afraid to tell it like is – and act upon it.

Wayne Steinman
New York, NY

Who Cares What The World Says?

It is amusing that Edward Horn is concerned that countries around the world consider the U.S. a rogue nation because President Bush prefers to act alone. As I see it, however, the world is mostly made up of those nations in Europe who are now in competition with the U.S. for dominance and who couldn’t resolve their problems and made the 20th century the bloodiest in history. And then there are the Third World countries that were colonized and
plundered by the Europeans and that now target the U.S. to vent against Western civilization and change the order of things.

These are the people Mr. Horn is concerned about offending?

Charlene Leider
(Via e-Mail)

Bush Inherited Clinton’s Mess

The first World Trade Center bombing took place eight years before President Bush took office and 9/11 occurred less than a year into his presidency. There is definitive evidence that both were connected and the latter was the product of years of planning. There was also the related bombing of the USS Cole and other U.S. targets around the world. How can Mr. Horn pine for the policies of Mr. Bush’s predecessors?

Barry Rosenberg
(Via E-Mail)

Republican Convert

As a recent convert to the Republican party, I can tell you what had previously led me to vote for Bill Clinton twice and then for Al Gore.

First, I believe it was the incorrect notion pervading our community and our social circles that equates the word “Democrat” with compassion and “Republican” with intolerance. Jews are
compassionate people by nature and by religion. By voting for those whom we erroneously believe are more “compassionate,” we feel good about ourselves in light of our generally high
socio-economic status. Perhaps this is just “Jewish guilt” playing itself out.

Second, we Jews have an almost genetic fear of Christians derived from pogroms, the Inquisition, Crusades, and to some degree the Holocaust. We cringe every time a Christian
Republican talks about prayer in school because we don’t wish to see our children proselytized and assimilated. But our paranoia and distrust of American Christianity is a remnant of our past and an impediment to our future. Radical Islam is our self-declared enemy – the enemy of America, Israel, and the civilized world.

The far left is in bed with Muslim extremists and the next generation of anti-Semites who
parade around as being anti-globalization, antiwar, and anti-“occupation.” Our community’s support of the political left is very dangerous to us now. I sincerely hope more American Jews wake up to these realities.

David Minkin
Northridge, CA