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Letters To The Editor


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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)

Doctoring Documents II Separate and apart from the question of the significance of references in documents to “Jerusalem, Israel,” are there no consequences for a lawyer telling a court that references in certain documents didn’t exist when they obviously did and were purposely erased?

And why haven’t The New York Times, Washington Post, or even Fox News reported on this? Esther Jacobson Jerusalem

Peres And Pollard Regarding the editorial on Jonathan Pollard (“The Pollard Petition,” May 4), I agree people should sign the online petition to Shimon Peres on behalf of Pollard. And we should all write to Peres. If anyone is capable of convincing President Obama to free Pollard, it is Peres. During the mid-1950s Peres negotiated a vital arms agreement with France, and it was primarily with French arms that Israel won the Six-Day War. Peres is a brilliant military strategist and diplomat.

Also, write to Senator Charles Schumer. Ask Schumer to use his close connection with President Obama to secure freedom for Pollard. Write to other Jewish members of Congress on behalf of Pollard as well.

Peres already asked Obama to free Pollard. Follow the Peres example. Write to Obama. And sign the online petition to Peres urging him to speak up again. Reuven Solomon (Via E-Mail)

Cheering For Jackie I very much enjoyed Irwin Cohen’s May 11 Baseball Insider column on Jackie Robinson and wish to add a little history pre-l947.

I was born and raised in Montreal, where I attended Baron Byng High School, which had a preponderance of Jewish students. The Montreal Royals were the farm team for the Dodgers. We learned that the first black player was coming to the Royals to get ready to go to Brooklyn. We also learned that a large number of Americans were coming to boo him. This was not acceptable to us.

We were permitted to leave school early, wore our school color streamers on our coats and jackets, and went to root for Jackie Robinson. Yes, there was a group of Americans who had come to boo but we shouted over them to drown them out. They were shocked and amazed and quieted down immediately. We all felt very proud of what we did – and it never happened again.
Ita Aber
(Via E-Mail)

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