Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Jewish First Names

Dr. Chani Miller ends her article about her name with these words: “Now when people ask me how to pronounce my name, I look them right in the eye and pronounce it the way it was intended to be pronounced – no fear, no explanation, no shame. ‘Hi. My name is Chani.'”


In the beginning of the article, Dr. Miller describes a beautiful story in which she went out of her way to make a non-Jewish attendant who has mispronounced her first name at a medical clinic feel comfortable. She smiled widely and tried to soften the “ch” sound when she pronounced her name so the woman could pronounce it better.

I can’t think of a better way of handling such a situation. Dr. Miller made this woman feel comfortable and good. Isn’t that the definition of graciousness? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to strive for?

I don’t understand why she decided to abandon this approach. Of course it feels good – as Dr. Miller points out – when someone pronounces our name correctly. But the English language doesn’t have a “ches” sound. That isn’t Americans’ fault. It’s our “fault.”

That’s why, among other reasons, I really don’t think we belong anywhere else other than Israel.  But in the meantime, as long as we live here, why not make other people’s lives easier?  Why not make them feel at ease? Is it Dr. Miller’s contention that it would have been better for her not to make that attendant at the clinic feel at ease? To make her feel awkward?

Joshua Bernstein
Brooklyn, NY


The Daily News: A Disgraceful Paper

The article headlined “ZOA Blasts New York Daily News,” which ran in your paper last week, not only accurately reflects the vitriolic coverage of President Trump, but underscores the tip of the proverbial iceberg – that the Daily News is a newspaper (barely) that has assiduously devoted its energies to one objective: assassinating not only of the character of the president, but of the office as well.

While The New York Times and The Washington Post have also denigrated the president, it is The New York Daily News – an excellent paper to domesticate dogs and underline bird cages – that has, unabashedly, defined the word “agenda.” All their columnists, it seems, must, unflinchingly, attempt to damage the credibility of Mr. Trump in any way, shape, or form.

A former subscriber to this grammatically-challenged tabloid, I have yet to see one missive that includes the faintest praise of our president. I have no doubt that if President Trump discovered a cure for cancer, the headline would read something like: Trump’s Successful Cure for Cancer Was Stolen from Hamas.

Ronald Neal Goldman
Professor of English
Touro College and University System


Activism Works

Never underestimate the power of one person to make a difference!  When my friend Shlomo Gewirtz saw the awful May 15th New York Daily News front cover featured in last week’s issue of The Jewish Press – “Daddy’s Little Ghoul:  55 Slaughtered in Gaza, But Ivanka All Smiles at Jerusalem Embassy Unveil” – he made a sign, picketed at the News’ headquarters himself, and ended up speaking to the editor-in-chief and having his hard-hitting op-ed published in the paper two days later.

Kol hakovod, Shlomo!
Glenn Richter


Loves Perek Mishna

I was excited to see the article on Perek Mishna that in your paper last week. The whole idea resonated with me when the program started on Rosh Hashanah two years ago. Since then, I have completed one full cycle (i.e., all six sections of Mishnayos).

Although the article makes it sound like the mishnayos are only learned very superficially, they can easily be learned in more depth with the vast choice of sefarim available nowadays.

Familiarity with the general ideas in mishanyos is vital to understanding all sections of religious law, and deeper understanding comes automatically with review. I review the last few perakim each day and that review can take less than five minutes once you have each perek clear.

Dovid Wiener,
Spring Valley, NY

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A letter last week by Martin Stern discussing the violence in Gaza was condensed, resulting in an error. It should have read: “And of these [killed by the IDF], 50 were Hamas members, and three were from Islamic Jihad, as officials of these movements later acknowledged. So the ‘collateral’ deaths were less than 10!”

We apologize for the error.