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July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
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Marvelous Encounter

I am writing in response to Rebbetzin Jungreis’s beautiful June 8 column (“The Gift of Unity”) in which she wrote of our chassidic family’s tribute in a Connecticut hotel to our beloved grandmother, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor.

The Rebbetzin focused on the hashgachah pratis that led to her meeting our extended family as we honored our grandmother in the same hotel where the Rebbetzin’s Hineni organization was holding an event of its own.

The pleasure was mutual, and our marvelous encounter with the Rebbetzin left us all with a feeling of fulfillment that will linger for a long time.

The Rebbetzin wrote of the beautiful kingdom (close to 400 descendents) of a modest and faithful queen, our grandmother, and the impact we made on Hineni members. But the Rebbetzin made her own strong and lasting impact on us.

All through Shabbos, wherever the Rebbetzin was walking, you would spot little groups from our family gathered around her, drinking in her words of Torah, emunah and chizuk. She helped raise a special occasion to an even higher level. And what a sight it was when the Rebbetzin joined our grandmother hand in hand behind the beautifully adorned Torah amid the lively singing and dancing.

Thank you, Rebbetzin.

Miriam Biederman
(Via E-Mail)

Obama And Settlements

Re: “Once Again, Settlements” (editorial, June 15):

If President Obama is really serious about peace talks in the Middle East, he need only apply real pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. I realize that Mahmoud Abbas wants to get Israel to make concessions on settlements as a precondition for any resumption of talks. Why wouldn’t he? Didn’t Obama initiate that position before abandoning, at least for now?

What part of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for negotiations without preconditions doesn’t Obama get? It is incumbent on him to persuade the Palestinian leader that the U.S. will never go back to pressuring Israel to suspend construction, even in a second Obama administration. Unless, of course, Obama has every intention of restarting that pressure if he wins another term.

David Bruce
(Via E-Mail)

Double Standard

I wonder whether supporters of Charles Barron (“The Importance of Voting,” editorial, June 15) would view support for someone like David Duke as racism. I also wonder why the relatively low support for President Obama among white voters is viscerally attacked as racism while the almost universal adulation he enjoys in the black community is viewed as something else.

Shlomo Bartel
(Via E-Mail)

Practical Suggestion

Kudos to Drs. Eliezer Jones and David Pelcovitz for their informative and articulate May 25 op-ed, “Teaching Children to Act as Their Own Internet Filters.” I would like to suggest a practical way to address the greatest challenge described in the piece – that of making sure our children completely separate at times from the Internet.

I suggest we take a page from the shmiras halashon campaigns that encourage individuals to set aside short periods of time of their own choosing during which to be extra vigilant in that area of their lives.

By setting aside specific periods each day to refrain from Internet and electronic device usage, we will become more accustomed to spending time away from these distractions and begin to develop appreciation for activities more beneficial to our psyche and spiritual fiber.

Ruchie Akerman
Brooklyn, NY

Jewish Holy Sites

Michael Freund’s June 15 column, “Take Back the Holy Sites,” touched a deep chord in me, since my AFSI Chizuk mission was in the ancient synagogue in Naaran in April of this year. We had stopped in the Jordan Valley, close to the area where Joshua crossed into Jericho, and then drove into a beautiful nature preserve. We walked through bountiful banana fields in order to reach the beautiful synagogue. We were overwhelmed by the setting, the mosaic floor, parts of which were still intact, the beautiful pillars, and the spirituality of the holy place. We were escorted there by a group of soldiers, many of whom joined in the Minchah prayers that were said at the site.

You can imagine our distress when we read about the desecration of the synagogue.

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