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October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘letters’

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

A Long And Storied Life

You know how to get to my heart and soul. The outstanding Oct. 7 In Memoriam reflections on the life of Arthur Federman by his grandchildren brought uncontrollable tears running down my cheeks. And then Naomi Klass Mauer’s Oct. 14 op-ed tribute to Mr. Federman made me choke up once again.

At my age (I’ll be 90 next month), I can easily relate. And I can readily appreciate Mr. Federman’s toils and troubles, and his boundless courage and determination to succeed in what was a long and storied life.

Thanks for sharing.

George Epstein
Los Angeles, CA


Learning From Saul Singer

Saul Jay Singer never ceases to amaze me with his weekly “Collecting Jewish History” columns and his occasional front-page essays. His Oct. 14 front-pager, “The Art of Sukkot,” was an enjoyable and educational tour de force of history, culture, and the arts.

I learn so much from each of Mr. Singer’s articles.

Paula Altman
(Via E-Mail)


Kindness To Animals

Many Orthodox Jews seem not to know or care that the Bible and Jewish law are full of admonitions and commandments to protect animals, nature, and the environment. Indeed, such teachings are fundamental to Judaism and its traditions.

Kindness to animals is even required in The Ten Commandments, wherein God forbids us to make our farm animals work on the Sabbath; we must give them, too, a day of rest (Exodus 20:10; 23:12).

When God made his promise to Noah and generations to come never again to destroy the earth with a flood, He included in the Covenant “every living creature….the fowl, the cattle, and every beast of the earth…” (Genesis 9: 12-17).

Psalm 36 states, “…man and beast thou savest, O Lord. How precious is thy steadfast love…” And Proverbs 12:10 suggests there are two types of people: “A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” Truly, in the words of Psalm 145:9, “His compassion is over all His creatures.”

Indeed, Jews invented the concept of kindness to animals some 4,000 years ago. There is an entire code of laws (“tsa’ar ba’alei chaim,” the requirement “to prevent the suffering of living creatures”) mandating that animals be treated with compassion. Jews are not allowed to “pass by” an animal in distress or animals being mistreated, even on the Sabbath.

It is hard to imagine that abuse of animals would be pleasing to a merciful God Who repeatedly prohibited cruelty to animals and Who instructs us to allow our animals an entire day of rest on the Sabbath; to leave some crops in the fields for the wildlife; and to allow oxen to eat while working.

Lewis Regenstein
(Via E-Mail)


Trump And Jewish Values

Re Sara Lehmann’s Oct. 14 “Right Angle” column, in which she makes the case for supporting Donald Trump:

Although non-Orthodox Jews overwhelmingly support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, Orthodox Jews overwhelmingly side with Trump over Clinton. No one should be surprised that so many Orthodox Jews disapprove of Clinton, but maybe we should be astonished at the number and percentage who support Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency.

Is Trump at all in line with fundamental Orthodox Jewish values, whether Modern Orthodox, haredi, or otherwise? I believe the answer is a clear no:


* Character. Trump has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of basic decency in how he treats his fellow human beings, frequently insulting and shaming people. Our tradition emphasizes the gravity of embarrassing someone by comparing doing so to committing murder.

* Business Practices. Trump justifies his fitness for the presidency on his supposed business acumen and success. Yet he has a troubling history of failing to pay what he owes to contractors and workers, even when he walks away with millions.

* Disregard for Truth. One of the most widespread criticisms of Hillary Clinton is over her lying and deception. Yet, after evaluating more than 250 statements from each candidate, the respected fact-checking website Politifact rated 27 percent of Clinton’s statements as Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire – not even close to Trump’s 71 percent rated as Mostly False or worse.

* Arrogance and Narcissism. Trump’s obsession with poll numbers, popularity, and winning show his narcissistic self-absorption. He defines as a loser anyone who does not support him. He has made the preposterous claim that he knows more about the ISIS terrorist group than “the generals.” In Judaism we value modesty and humility.

* Tolerance of Anti-Semitism. Trump has a number of times re-tweeted items from far right anti-Semitic writers, and he has refused to quickly and unequivocally distance himself from avowed anti-Semites and racists.

* Racism. Trump’s stereotyping of Mexicans as rapists and murderers should offend all Jews, who have too often been victims of vile characterizations.

* Sexism. Trump repeatedly belittles and demeans women, calling them dogs and pigs and focusing on their weight and appearance. Recent revelations seem to indicate that Trump’s attitudes have at times translated into predatory behavior toward women.

* Lack of Self-Control. Trump gets irritated easily, lashing out in response to the merest of perceived slights. Despite repeated promises from some supporters that Trump would start acting more presidential, we have seen that he cannot maintain such an act for long.

* Demagoguery. Despite promoting himself as a “law and order” candidate, Trump appears to have little respect for the rule of law and democratic norms, as can be seen from his praise of Russia’s Putin and his support of waterboarding and killing family members of terrorists.

* Israel Policy. We have no idea what Trump’s Israel policy is or might become. There’s almost no political issue on which Trump has not changed his position over the years.

How can someone committed to Jewish tradition, law, and values vote for, let alone support enthusiastically, a candidate who exhibits the character traits listed above? Any one of those traits ought to give pause to any voter, let alone to Orthodox Jews.

Our Readers

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Torah And Political Liberalism

Re Rabbi Aryeh Klapper’s well-intended but, to me, mostly confusing attempt to equate Torah middos such as gemilut chassadim and tzedakah with non-Orthodox liberalism (“Instinctive Liberalism and Halachic Conservatism,” op-ed, Sept. 30)

The article was, I presume, an attempt, to promote what he refers to as American liberalism (i.e., political liberalism) as a connected value.

I respectfully but strongly disagree. I think many Jews who correctly embrace these middos (in simple form: helping others) assume that political liberalism is a natural extension of those values. But they fail to ask a fundamental question: Do government programs actually constitute the best way to help people and have they best fulfilled the mitzvos we embrace?

In fact, I think examples abound in the Jewish community of dedicated people establishing organizations and processes that do a much better job helping people than any government program.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all had more money in our pockets to donate to those organizations and causes rather than having that money transferred from our pockets (via taxes) to government bureaucracies that have demonstrated over and over again their inability to work efficiently (if at all)?

Sonny Taragin
Baltimore, MD

The Problem With Trump

Donald Trump apparently believes himself to be above other humans – infallible, with the right to exercise vengeance and crush his rivals, competitors, and opponents. When it comes to national leaders, I take my cue from Moshe Rabbeinu, of whom it was said he was the humblest of human beings.

Trump, by contrast, is among the most arrogant of humans. Just about all his decisions have been and will continue to be guided by his lust for power, dominance, and control. As for his expressed support for Israel, there’s no way to know how genuine it is.

The most patriotic act he could perform for the United States would be to quietly drop out of the race without blaming the media, his opponents, or even his supporters,

Ray Kestenbaum
Rego Park, NY


The Problem With Hillary

Hillary Clinton has an inauspicious history, going back over thirty years and pockmarked by scandals such as Travelgate, Filegate, and Whitewater.

For Clinton, the truth is something to be avoided at all costs. She lied repeatedly to the FBI, as we know from FBI Director James Comey. Even after Comey made those comments, she still claimed she’d been truthful in her testimony. She seems to be seriously estranged from the concept of truth.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, may have misspoken on several occasions, but he’s not a polished politician. His language needs some burnishing, but he has done nothing untoward.

Samuel Deitel
Brooklyn, NY

Saving Lives

On Selichos night, Motzaei Shabbos, September 24, at the Elmora Avenue Shul in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Renewal, a world-renowned Jewish organization that helps match donors with those in need of a kidney, held an inspiring event sponsored by the Jewish Educational Center and all of the local shuls, Jewish Family Services, and YM-YWHA of Union County.

Attendees learned about live kidney donations facilitated by the Renewal organization.

Rabbi Josh Sturm, director of outreach at Renewal, began the program with a halachic overview of kidney donation that was both insightful and entertaining.

Following his presentation, Dr. Tamar Green shared the personal story of her decision to donate a kidney, which was a life-changing event for her. Another community member who donated a kidney then shared how her life was changed because of this mitzvah and described her experience. Afterward, a community member who received a kidney expressed her gratitude and described how it saved her life.

Among the attendees was a woman whose 34-year-old niece is in need of a kidney. If you have blood type B or O and are interested in saving a life by possibly donating a kidney to her, please contact Josh Sturm at 718-431-9831 ext. 206 for more information. If you have a different blood type, perhaps you can help save someone else’s life.

Aside from donating a kidney, there are other things you can still do to help those in need of one. You can help spread the word about Renewal by having an event in your community to inspire and educate people about this praiseworthy mitzvah (contact Josh Sturm at 718-431-9831 ext. 206 for more information) and you can tell others about the Renewal organization and the opportunity to possibly donate a kidney to the woman mentioned above or others who have the same need.

Lea P. Davidson
Executive Director

Our Readers

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Don’t Let Politics Divide You

We’ve arrived at the most solemn period of the Jewish calendar. Especially during these days of introspection and repentance, please kiss your loved ones and tell them how much you love them. Do not – I repeat, do not – get into disputes about this highly-charged presidential election.

Both major candidates are wealthy beyond imagination and Obama will make his millions when he is out of office. Do you really think they feel the pain of those who are out of work? Do they empathize with those who have lost their homes and in some cases their families?

May God grant us health and happiness, without which we are nothing but miserable. Do not lose any friends over this election. A true friend is extremely difficult to find.

Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg
(Via E-Mail)


In Support Of Trump (I)

Readers Gary Cohen and Elise Markowitz took me to task in the Sept. 23 issue for the support I’ve expressed, in recent letters to the editor, for Donald Trump.

Mr. Cohen, who correctly stated that he and I share a devotion to Israel, faulted Trump for his response to a question concerning the approach he’d take to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Mr. Cohen objected to Trump’s phrase “Let me be sort of a neutral guy.… I don’t want to say whose fault it is – I don’t think that helps.”

What is wrong with that approach for a negotiator? What could anyone ever achieve by starting a negotiation with “It’s all your fault”?

Please understand: I feel the current state of affairs is all the fault of the Palestinians. Quite obviously, I couldn’t chair a meeting between these parties because my bias, my angry gut, would immediately doom any reasonable and intelligent discussion. How could Trump or anyone else begin such negotiations by hurling accusations that derail any potential progress?

Ms. Markowitz spoke of Hillary’s “solid record on Israel during her years as a U.S. senator.” I wholeheartedly agree. But I would point out that the Senate seat was from New York. How in the world could a senator from New York have anything but a “solid record on Israel”?

During her four years as secretary of state, however, I never heard Mrs. Clinton offer one single word of disagreement with President Obama’s Middle East policies. And I’m not moved by Ms. Markowitz’s suggestion that Clinton’s opposition to the building of Israeli settlements is OK because U.S. policy has long been anti-settlement.

As for Trump “defaming” people, where is the outrage from Jews – from all Americans – when Clinton and the Democratic Party defame millions of citizens as racists, xenophobes, misogynists, and homophobes because they hold views that differ from the liberal line?

Ms. Markowitz, like Mr. Cohen, failed to point out a single achievement, position, stance, or vision that Clinton possesses that would be good for both America and Israel.

Myron Hecker
New City, NY


In Support Of Trump (II)

Some of the negative views about Donald Trump expressed by Jewish Press readers are a bit shortsighted.

The criticism that Trump habitually changes his position has little merit. Changing one’s position while in the planning stages of any endeavor is not unusual. Trump’s record shows that when he finally decides on a course of action he’s pretty resolute about it. If that were not the case, we’d see half-completed hotels and golf courses on Trump properties, and the Central Park skating rink would still not be completed.

Ironically, when candidate Barack Obama, a man with zero accomplishments to his name, listed every problem our country had and claimed he’d fix  them, no one questioned how he would do so. But when Trump, an extremely accomplished person, says he’ll fix things, people demand to know how.

Then there’s the complaint that Trump has a hair-trigger temper and entrusting him with the nuclear button could be dangerous.

Trump has been vilified and ridiculed by the news media from the day he announced his candidacy. Attacking a mainstream media that boasts a long history of  bias against those of who do not toe the politically correct liberal line is hardly a hair-trigger response. It’s a simple recognition of the unrelenting nature of our liberal-left media and its potential for damage if left unchecked.

Finally, if Trump gives the impression that he could press that nuclear button at any moment, that’s exactly what will keep us safe. It’s our image of weakness to the point of impotence over the past eight years that has led to the dangerous world we live in today.

Josh Greenberger
Brooklyn, NY


Pantheon Of Heroes

Fall is here and we are in the midst of postseason baseball. The NFL season is in full swing, and New York fans are wondering whether this will be another frustrating season for the Jets and Giants.

All of this is ultimately meaningless, because the stars of professional sports and pop culture are only famous for a fleeting few years. After they are washed up, no one remembers them. Even the greats are only great on this earth and not in the world to come.

I wish to highlight the accomplishments of several individuals who have come from utter religious obscurity and because of the heroic efforts of BJX are now well on their way to becoming Torah giants and superstars. They are precious members of the BJX family and pantheon of heroes.

BJX recently celebrated the bris of Dmitry – a special 31-year-old Jew who displayed Herculean courage by enduring this most difficult test – a test that none other than Avraham Avinu, our progenitor and patriarch, passed. Dmitry – now Dovid – has joined the elite club of b’alai bris, a far more coveted position and accolade than anything this ethereal world has to offer.

As I watched Dmitry leave the rabbi’s office where the bris was performed, I was overwhelmed by my own emotions. I thought of the uncountable number of Jews through the ages who risked life and limb to perform this hallowed mitzvah. I thought of my own bris in Munkatch 43 years ago in the old Soviet Union, and the mesiras nefesh my parents and grandparents exhibited to make the bris and move to America, without any financial backing, and raise me as a Torah Jew.

Our Readers

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Holiday Davening

Once again this year, Kehilas Mevakshei Hashem is offering to enhance your yamim noraim experience, making it more affordable and enjoyable.

We will, IY”H, be conducting uplifting, melodious Carlebach-style tefillos at a new Flatbush location. The divrei Torah and drashos will be practical, educational, and inspiring.

All seats will be partially subsidized, with a selection available gratis for those in need.

For reservations and information, call 718-469-6999.

Kesivah V’Chasimah Tovah to all.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin
Brooklyn, NY  


More On The Rebbe’s Letter To A Chess Grandmaster

In writing my weekly “Collecting Jewish History” column for The Jewish Press, I always look forward to the thought-provoking comments and observations readers send my way, which are always much appreciated.

At the end of my September 2 column, I wrote about how Rav Menachem Mendel Schneerson wrote to chess grandmaster Samuel Reshevsky to congratulate him on an important chess victory, which he characterized as a “Kiddush Hashem,” and also to ask Reshevsky to try to contact Bobby Fischer to “find some way in which he could be brought back to the Jewish fold, either through your personal efforts, or in some other way.”

In response I received the following amazing correspondence from Mrs. Frida Schapiro, which I feel compelled to share with readers:


Shalom Mr. Singer,

I just finished reading your fascinating column “The Frum Chess Grandmaster and the Lubavitcher Rebbes” and I got very excited, as now I was able to connect the dots. Let me explain.

My father, Rabbi Dr. Nissan Mindel z”l, was the personal secretary of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, as well as of his successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. He traveled with the previous Rebbe and his small entourage by ship from war-torn Europe in 1940 (the last passenger ship to leave) to New York and served the two Rebbes until 1994.

Besides being the author of numerous works of chassidus in English for young and old which he did at the behest of the Rebbes (you might be familiar with his well- known Talks and Tales monthly magazine for children and with the English translation of the Tanya), Rabbi Mindel also served the Rebbes in the capacity of personal secretary, writing their letters in four languages – English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian (composing the letters from the dictation he took down from them). I like to refer to him as the “royal scribe.” He kept a carbon copy of every single letter (at the request of the Rebbe) – both communal and personal – and eventually gathered some of these English, personal letters, categorized them and prepared them for publication in a series which he titled The Letter and the Spirit. He prepared enough letters to fill ten volumes; we are now working on volume four, and volume one came out during his lifetime, with instructions to us to continue the project.

Which brings me to the reason that I am writing to you.

You might be interested to see the letter which the Rebbe wrote in 5744 to a chess master (in Spring Valley) – with very warm and encouraging words, referring to the article in The New York Times and to the Kiddush Hashem which he so brilliantly displayed, which included a request to help a fellow Jew and fellow chess champion. I always found this letter very fascinating and so inspiring; the love and concern which a Jew should have for another, no matter how far removed he may be from the Jewish way of life.

As my father was very careful in removing any identifying features in the letters, so as to maintain privacy and confidentiality, there is no name or address on the letters as they are printed in The Letter and the Spirit series. We do have the originals, but I have not gone to the archives to look for the original of this letter, and I assume that this letter was written to Samuel Reshevsky. The part of the letter that you quote in your column is the “P.S.” in that letter. I was thrilled to learn of the history behind this great man – the context within which this letter was written to him by the Rebbe.


Mrs. Schapiro was also kind enough to forward the actual text of Rebbe’s letter:


By Grace of G-d
25th of Adar Sheini, 5744
Brooklyn, N. Y.
Mr. [Blank]
Spring Valley, N.Y. 10977


Greeting and Blessing:

After the very long interval since I heard from you directly (which is somewhat surprising), I was pleased to have been informed of your recent success in the International Tournament as reported in the New York Times of March 18, 1984. I was doubly gratified because it was good to know that you continue to participate in International Tournaments and, especially, that you shared the first prize in the Tournament at Reykjavik.

Needless to say, the most gratifying point is that you continue to display a Kiddush HaShem Barabim, insisting upon your right not to play on the holy Shabbos and that your stance was recognized and accepted. What made it even more conspicuous is that there was another Jewish contestant, from the U.S.S.R., who attempted to be a stumbling block in your way which made your Kiddush HaShem all the more brilliant. May G-d grant that for many years to come, you will continue to use your great influence in the cause of Kiddush HaShem, and do so in good health, with joy and gladness of heart, and in happy circumstances both materially and spiritually.

The above is very much in the spirit of Purim which we observed just recently, as we read in the Megillah that although in those days, as nowadays, Jews were spread and scattered among the nations of the world, facing all kinds of difficulties as Jews, nevertheless they clung to their Jewish way of life, as the Megillah says, “Their Laws were different from those of other peoples.” However, because of their determined and proud stance as Jews, to quote the Megillah again, “Mordechai the Jew” and the “People of Mordechai” would not “bend their knees nor bow down” before anyone or anything that challenged their Jewish commitment – precisely this is what brought about that “For the Jews there was light, joy, gladness and honor,” meaning also honor and admiration for the Jews on the part of their erstwhile enemies.

Our Readers

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Continuing The Rebbetzin’s Columns (I)

I want to thank you for your decision to continue publishing Rebbetzin Jungreis’s columns. As you put it in the editor’s note accompanying last week’s column, the Rebbetzin is no longer with us but her message is eternal. It matters not that the columns you’ll be running have previously appeared in the paper; after all, Torah study consists of much review and repetition and the Rebbetzin was a Torah teacher par excellence.

Shmuel Lazar
(Via E-Mail)


Continuing The Rebbetzin’s Columns (II)

Hopefully you will run the Rebbetzin’s old columns for many years to come. I have been a subscriber to The Jewish Press for about 45 years. When I receive the paper at my front door, the first column I’ve always turned to is Rebbetzin’s Viewpoint. It has inspired me for all these years.

Thank you for “listening” to the readers who wrote in asking you to continue her column.

Malka Skolnick
(Via E-Mail)


Outstanding Oriana

Jason Maoz’s Sept. 16 op-ed column, “Oriana Fallaci and the Suicide of the West,” was excellent.

An outstanding journalist and author, Oriana Fallaci was  also a brilliant human being. Despite her upbringing and early life as an ultra-leftist, she came to the realization that Islamic fundamentalists are a grave danger to our world.

To sum up her message in her own words, “Islamism is the new Nazi-Fascism.  With Nazi-Fascism, no compromise is possible. No hypothetical tolerance. And those who do not understand this simple reality are feeding the suicide of the West.”

George Epstein
Los Angeles, CA


Not Enamored Of Trump (I)

I share reader Myron Hecker’s devotion to Israel, but I wish I shared his conviction, expressed in several letters to the editor in recent months and most recently in your Sept. 16 issue, that Donald Trump will be an unparalleled champion of Israel should he make it to the White House.

I would remind Mr. Hecker that earlier this year, when he was unscripted and responding off the top of his head to a question about whom he would lean on more in any negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Trump said: “Let me be sort of a neutral guy…. I don’t want to say whose fault it is – I don’t think that helps.”

And a few weeks later, he told the Associated Press that in order for any Mideast negotiations to succeed, “a lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal – whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.”

It was only after he was hammered for those statements – by, among others, Hillary Clinton – that Trump had his son-in-law (and the editor of the newspaper owned by his son-in-law) write up a pro-Israel speech that he, Trump, read off a teleprompter at the AIPAC conference.

Sorry, Mr. Hecker, but the fact that Donald Trump, facing a barrage of criticism for his earlier statements, read a pro-Israel speech written by others from a teleprompter doesn’t give me a great deal of confidence in where he really stands.

Gary Cohen
(Via E-Mail)


Not Enamored Of Trump (II)

Re the letter from Trump supporter Myron Hecker:

If I thought there was even the slightest possibility that Hillary Clinton is the anti-Israel demon some in our community make her out to be, I would swallow my very strong reservations about Trump and vote for him.

But Hillary had a solid record on Israel during her years as a U.S. senator, and while I don’t agree with her position on Israeli settlements, the fact is it has been U.S. policy for more than four decades, no matter the president or secretary of state, to oppose the building of settlements. So articulating that position does not make one anti-Israel. (And as I’m sure Mr. Hecker knows, a significant percentage of the Israeli public also opposes settlement building.)

But I, like so many others, am completely put off by Trump’s unending string of defaming others, his shoot-from-the-hip statements, his dangerously shallow understanding of the world, and his habit of changing his positions whenever it suits his mood or audience and then claiming the latest position is the one he’d always held.

And then there’s the almost total lack of substance in what he says. No one – including Trump – has any idea how he’ll build that wall on the border with Mexico, let alone how he’ll force the Mexican government to pay for it. And despite all his talk about how he loves veterans and will do wonders for them, he hasn’t offered a single detail about what he’d do in that regard. Nor has he said a word about what will come after he implements his vow to “abolish Obamacare” – other than his nonsensical promise to replace it with “something terrific.”

I will be watching the upcoming debates with extreme interest and an open mind. Maybe Trump will surprise me with a reasoned and sober presentation and maybe Hillary will underwhelm with a weak and dispirited performance. But right now I cannot fathom what people like Mr. Hecker see in Donald Trump.

Elise Markowitz
(Via E-Mail)

Not Enamored Of Clinton

In typical Clinton fashion, any challenge to Hillary’s presidential ambition engenders the usual reflex actions to protect her by a complicit mainstream media and her army of apologists and sycophants (“Hillary’s Health and Secretiveness Are the Paramount Issues,” editorial, Sept. 16).

It has long been evident that The New York Times can no longer be judged as a respected newspaper deserving of the journalistic credibility it had earned in years gone by. Sadly, the paper’s propensity to jump to Hillary’s defense by putting the emphasis on both candidates to be open and transparent is clearly one-sided and driven by politics.

The hubris exhibited by Hillary in calling for Donald Trump to release his tax returns because he must have something to hide is the ultimate hypocrisy when she has refused to reveal the contents of Wall Street speeches for which she earned millions of dollars.

Our Readers

Israeli Postal Service Delivers Letters to God at the Wall Ahead of Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Israel Post Director General Danny Goldstein on Monday met with Western Wall and Holy Sites Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, to deliver to him a consignment of letters addressed to God. The holy mail was delivered ahead of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays, and will be placed in the cracks and crevices of the ancient stones of what used to be a supporting wall for the Temple. The letters were posted from Israel as well as from Russia, China, France, Nigeria, Spain, the Netherlands, the US, and the UK.

Letters to God

Letters to God

Hundreds of letters are mailed to Israel annually addressed to “God,” “Jesus,” “Our Dear Father in Heaven” and “the Western Wall.” These letters, most of which lack a return address, are sent to the Israel Post Lost and Found Dept., which then sends them, every few months, to be placed among the stones of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Back in 2006, a company called Letter to God Ltd. announced a service of placing letters to God, written on the customer’s home computer, in the cracks and crevices of the Western Wall. We are not sure what happened to them, but their website, letter2god.com, is available for the right price. Another example of free enterprise losing out to the nanny state.


Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Rebbetzin’s Columns (I)

Might The Jewish Press consider continuing to publish Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis’s inspirational weekly columns?

In my opinion, this would perpetuate and enhance her spiritual presence in our lives.

Jerrold Terdiman, MD
Woodcliff Lake, NJ


Rebbetzin’s Columns (II)

Rebbetzin Jungreis’s columns were always so uplifting and filled with Torah wisdom. I hope you will consider running her past columns so that readers will continue to benefit from her insights and advice.

Miriam Goldman
(Via e-Mail)

Editor’s Reply: Starting this week we are doing precisely what Dr. Terdiman, Ms. Goldman, and many other readers suggested. See page 11 for the Rebbetzin’s column.



Presidential Politics (I)

Hillary Clinton has vociferously and repeatedly stated how great a job Barack Obama has done for almost eight years. She has praised and defended his policies, both domestic and foreign. This, of course, includes his stance toward Israel.

Can any Jewish American, no matter how liberal, defend and agree with Obama’s overtly unfriendly demeanor toward Prime Minister Netanyahu? A true friend of Israel would have the guts to state that the safety, security, and existence of Israel will never be compromised.

Shouldn’t we, as Jews, be fed up with the “even-handedness” we’ve all lived with – that same even-handedness that refuses to publicly and loudly state that the world’s greatest problem isn’t global warming, but radical Islamic terrorism?

Obama won’t say it and neither will Hillary.

Odd, isn’t it, that the victim of vile, unsubstantiated charges of anti-Semitism, Donald Trump, says it everywhere he speaks?

Myron Hecker
New City, NY


Presidential Politics (II)

It is my opinion, based on everything I’ve watched and read, that Hillary Clinton is not guilty of a moderate to a significant amount of the accusations leveled against her.

But even if she were guilty of all of them, I would still prefer her as president to Donald Trump. In such a scenario – deplorable as it would be – at least she would muddle through, and life would go on pretty much as we know it.

But if Donald Trump were elected president the scenario would be not merely deplorable but absolutely frightening. Giving this man with an immature disposition, a hair-trigger temper, and a habit of changing his positions on important issues by the hour access to the nuclear codes would, I fear, endanger the future of our planet, and life as we know it.

Harold Allen
(Via E-Mail)


Open Letter To Netanyahu

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,

I respectfully and unequivocally state that not one word of the 1968 PLO Charter has ever been changed pursuant to Clause 33 of the Charter which states “that no changes in the charter can be made unless 2/3 of the membership of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) vote for a change.”

There is no written PLO Charter in existence other than the original 1964 PLO Charter and its amended 1968 version. The only special PNC session pertaining to the charter which has ever been held occurred in April 1996. Before the resolution was given to the PNC members, PNC Chairman Za’noun delivered a speech and stated the following: “But the version which was drafted is the least damaging that we could submit. It gives us an extension of six months until the Central Council convenes. And then the Central Council will discuss it. And it is within its rights to say they leave it for the National Council.”

Za’noun’s words clearly meant that the resolution was intended to delay any change in the Charter and still fulfill Article XXXI paragraph 9 of the Interim Agreement. This clause required that within two months from the date of the inauguration of the Interim Agreement, the PLO undertakes to have the Palestinian National Council meet to approve the charter changes in the September 1993 exchange of letters between Arafat and Rabin.

The PNC voted for a two-clause resolution. Clause One did not mention one specific clause annulment. It was a generalized statement that the PNC had decided to amend the Charter and cancel articles that opposed the September 1993 exchange of letters between Arafat and Rabin. Clause Two assigns the legal committee the responsibility of redrafting the Palestinian National Charter which will later be presented to the PCC during its first meeting. There is no evidence that any segment of Clause Two was ever fulfilled. There is no mention of Clause Two in any document after the 1996 PNC resolution. No other Palestinian document pertaining to the charter or the 1996 PNC Resolution was ever published until Arafat’s January 1998 letter to President Clinton.

Arafat boldly lied in the letter by stating that the April 1996 PNC Resolution resulted in 12 annulments (clauses 6-10, 15, 19-23, and 30) and 14 partial annulments (clauses 1-5, 11-14, 16-18, 25-27 and 29). Arafat in the letter converted the generalized language of Clause One into his own specific charter annulments and partial annulments. There is not one iota of evidence to sustain this untruthful conversion.

No special PNC session pertaining to the Charter other than the April 1996 meeting has ever been held.

The most powerful arguments Israel has as to why it should not meet with the Palestinians now is that Palestinian leaders have never changed one word of their charter’s declared goal of destroying Israel.

Additionally, Hamas has a charter that is even worse than the PLO’s. The 1998 Hamas Charter preamble states: “Surat Al-Imran (111), verses 109-11: Israel will arise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.”

And Clause 11 of the 1998 Hamas Charter declares that the land of Palestine has been and is an Islamic Wafq in perpetuity.

If Israel were to present to world leaders and international bodies some recent PMW and MEMRI translations of PATV programs, some recent Palestinian newspaper articles, some recent inflammatory statements by Palestinian officials, and some Friday sermons by Palestinian imams combined with the above charters, no reasonably objective party could object to your refusal to meet with Abbas or any Hamas official.

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