Satmar Convention A Disgrace
In your June 8 edition, you printed an article about a “Satmar Anti-Zionist Convention.” This convention was a public disgrace. The modern State of Israel is a miracle that occurred after six million Jews perished in the Holocaust. One does not have to support Israel. But to demean the state in a public forum, as the Satmar are known to do, is a desecration of G-d’s name.
Why Didn’t He Mention Acupuncture?
I found Rabbi Noson Leiter’s article on energy healing quite interesting, especially his discussion on Chi, the so called “energy of the body.” The single most prominent healing technique utilizing Chi is the 2,000-year-old technique known as acupuncture. Rabbi Leiter indicated that he worked with Rabbi Blumenkranz, yet acupuncture is not mentioned in his annual Pesach sefer.
What are we to surmise? Could it be that acupuncture was overlooked because so many medical doctors are utilizing it in their practices? Does Rabbi Leiter not want to raise the ire of the medical profession?
Dr. Jeffrey E. Weber MA, DC, DCBCN
Energy Healing Is A Blessing
I humbly disagree with the conclusions of “Is Energy Healing A Form of Avodah Zarah?” As a physician practicing conventional and alternative pain management, I have great appreciation for the role energy plays in our healing.
Before explaining my disagreement, I will give my medical perspective on what this “energy” is. Throughout our body we have blood that circulates and delivers nutrients to all our cells. We have nerves that travel with the blood vessels that provide sensory information to help us respond to the internal and external environment.
With the nerves and blood vessels, energy flows. From a physics standpoint, there is energy emitted by any electrical field. We all have electrical fields around us; this has been measured by spectroscopy, which demonstrates light emission from our bodies. While our understanding of this electrical field is rudimentary, Hashem has granted us enough basic understanding to tap into this energy and achieve healing.
One of the concerns Rabbi Leiter raised is that this energy will be perceived as a physical manifestation of Hashem. But rather than see it as a physical manifestation of Hashem, I would argue that we should see this energy as part of Hashem’s creation. Having a healthy energy field is as important to good health as having healthy circulation with good blood flow.
Just like interference with blood flow – e.g., a blood clot – leads to physical illness, blockage of our energy flow can lead to many illnesses.
Rabbi Leiter argues that energy techniques should be prohibited if not genuinely proven to work based on the rules of nature as we know them. Energy flow is hard to study in a standard medical model but, as noted above, we know it exists and based on healing responses engendered by utilizing this energy, we know we can positively affect it.
Another concern raised was that even if the treatment is successful, it’s positive effects will be attributed to avodah zarah so its use should be prohibited. I agree that it would be a shanda if someone thought he was cured by avodah zarah. Fortunately, frum patients understand that this healing energy is a beracha from Hashem that we are blessed to benefit from.
Lastly, I recognize the concern that other religions have tapped into this healing energy that Hashem has given us. However, the utilization of one of Hashem’s gifts by other religions should not preclude us from benefiting from this gift.
Warren Slaten, M.D.
A Distraction From Trump’s Crimes
In your latest attempt to discredit any investigation into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, you devoted one of your editorials last week to attacking Special Counsel Robert Mueller rather than the issues he’s investigating.
You said nothing about Trump’s strange behavior concerning Russia, including his call for Russia to be readmitted into the G-7 conference without it retreating from different sections of Ukraine. Nor do you mention that many people connected to him (e.g. Paul Manafort) have been indicted and even convicted.
Instead, you attempted to portray Mueller as anti-Israel partisan without even one statement that can be attributed to him to support the claim.
What you do have is the fact that Mueller oversaw an investigation in 2004(!) to determine if any credence should be given to the allegation of an Israeli spy ring. And he concluded that there was none!
Isn’t that much better than having people attack American Jews or Israel with baseless suspicions? Isn’t it a reality that Jonathan Pollard was kept in prison for much too long precisely because of those suspicions?
By dragging Israel into this mess, you may succeed in getting some of your readership to buy Trump’s alibis, but you may also be connecting Israel to an episode that no one should be proud of.
Important Vote This Tuesday
This Tuesday, June 26 is primary election day for Federal elected officials. There are two Congressional seats on the ballot in Flatbush and it is very important that you vote.
Primary elections always have low turnouts, which means your vote will count even more. Our ability to have government officials who will advocate for us depends on our voting strength. Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, stated that it’s a mitzvah to vote. We live in a democracy, and it is the civic duty of every citizen to exercise the constitutional right to vote. If you are not yet registered, please do so now to be eligible for the September primary. Visit vote.nyc.ny.us or call 866-868-3692.
The two primaries this Tuesday June 26 in our area are:
- Democratic primary for Congressional District 9, which includes Kensington and most of Midwood, from Avenue I and Ocean Parkway to Flatbush Avenue and south until the Belt Parkway. Incumbent Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is being challenged by Adem Bunkeddeko. You need to be registered as a Democrat to vote in this primary.
- Republican primary for Congressional District 11, which includes all of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, from Avenue P until the Belt Parkway, from West 6 Street until East 15 Street. Incumbent Congressman Dan Donovan is being challenged by former Congressman Michael Grimm. You need to be registeredas a Republican to vote in this primary.
Please encourage all your friends, neighbors and family to vote as well. Thank you.
Chairman, Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition, FJCC