Asifa Ignores Jerusalem Much time, money and resources are being poured into the May 20 asifa at Citi Field designed to warn Klal Yisrael about the dangers of the Internet.
Ultimately, as the symbol and motto for this gathering indicates, its purpose is to ensure that the “machaneh” – camp – of Israel remains holy.
It is therefore incredible to me that the organizers have so woefully neglected the paradigm of the “holy camp” – the holy city of Jerusalem. This is especially grievous because this gathering will take place on the 28th of Iyar – Yom Yerushalayim – when, 45 years ago, Klal Yisrael and the world witnessed the miracle of the liberation of Jerusalem by the Israel Defense Forces, with the help of the Almighty.
Sadly, there is not one word in the publicity literature for the asifa or its tentative program that indicates an awareness of the sacred aspect of 28 Iyar. If all that comes out of the asifa is a condemnation of modern technology, with no appreciation for the opportunity we have to daven at the Kotel under Jewish jurisdiction – a dream realized for the first time after close to 2,000 years of exile – then this gathering will have amounted to a berachah levatalah. Doniel Z. Kramer (Via E-Mail)
A New Song (I) I was enthralled by Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt’s beautifully written call to spiritual arms (“A New Song,” front page essay, May 11).
Individuals can cut through all of the cobwebs of modern day living by always anticipating whether their conduct will be a Kiddush Hashem or, chas v’shalom, the opposite. When you think about it, it is a perfectly logical way to direct one’s life on the right path. Avraham Reich (Via E-Mail)
A New Song (II) As someone of the same generation as Rabbi Rosenblatt, I enjoyed his well-articulated viewpoint. It is indeed a good question: What will our children contribute to the world, and how will they be skilled enough to do so? My Flatbush upbringing was similar to Rabbi Rosenblatt’s, but with a twist.
My father attended Torah Vodaas for elementary school and then went to Yeshiva University where he obtained an undergraduate degree as well as semicha from RIETS. After he served as a chaplain in Fort Dix during the Vietnam War, he went to Baruch for an MBA in finance.
My mother attended Bais Yaakov of Williamsburg and raised six children. From the beginning we were raised knowing we would all attend college; in our house it was a given. In a time when many girls did not go on to pursue graduate degrees I was encouraged by my parents and grandparents and then by my husband to keep going.
It is possible to have a foot in both the Jewish and the secular worlds, but it takes work. My secular education in yeshiva was far superior to that of my brothers. If we are going to live in this world we need to do so by providing both our girls and our boys with a strong Hebrew and English curriculum.
I practice in a town a mile away from Rutgers University and I have many professors from all walks of life as patients. I am able to engage in intelligent discourse with them because of my strong yeshiva and secular background.
We are scared of sending our kids out of their hermetically sealed yeshiva bubbles into the real world for fear of their being influenced by the secular culture. It is indeed a valid fear. But I found that my beliefs were strengthened in college and graduate school because they had to be tested. Hashkafa starts at home and is hopefully reinforced in yeshiva. We need to supply our children with the proper educational tools to be able to function in the world at large and create the Kiddush Hashem Rabbi Rosenblatt alludes to in his article. Dr. Chani Miller Highland Park, NJ
Doctoring Documents (I) I think the Obama administration’s tampering with past records to bring history into line with its policies is one of the more important stories in years (“Doctoring Official Documents,” editorial, March 11).
This is especially so since what was in those records was highly relevant to a current case now in the United States Supreme Court and prior to that in lower federal courts. However, I’m not sure I agree that the Sandy Berger scandal supports your claim that what the Obama administration did rises to the level of a crime. Berger, the national security adviser to President Clinton, was already out of government when he pilfered documents while the Obama administration had custodial oversight of the documents a staffer or staffers apparently altered. Stanley Hurvitch (Via E-Mail)