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The Lubavitcher Rebbe Respected Other Minhagim

Thank you for giving me the opportunity last week to present the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s position on sheitels. However, in editing my article, you deleted a sentence that I believe results in a misrepresentation of the Rebbe’s position and could, chas v’shalom, cause hard feelings.

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I had written, “The Rebbe promoted sheitels over kerchiefs, advising those who wore kerchiefs to replace them with wigs (unless it was a specific minhag of a particular family or community).” The Rebbe told people who had the minhag to cover their hair with something other than a wig to keep their minhag, even if they became Chabad chassidim. The Rebbe had the utmost respect for other minhagim and mesorahs.

Esther Vilenkin
Chautauqua, NY

Thank You

Thank you for the highly-enlightening and thought-provoking articles you published the past few weeks on married women covering her hair, starting with “Sheitels: Forbidden, Allowed, or Preferred?” by Rabbi Yaakov Hoffman. You have given me much food for thought and discussion.

Avraham Klein

Kosher Literature?

In his interview with Tzvi Fishman, Elliot Resnick asks about the appropriateness of including immodest passages in a novel. Fishman responds by saying that art should be confined within the boundaries of halacha and defends romantic passages in his own works by noting that characters in his novels who act immorally are summarily punished.

If one reads Olat HaRiyah by Rav Kook, however, with the strict interpretation Fishman seems to lend it, his own novels should be deemed not kosher.

Howard Jay Meyer
Brooklyn, NY

 

Editorial Was a Disgrace

As an Orthodox Jew, I found your editorial, “NYS Bill Could Bankrupt Yeshivas,” appalling and offensive. Shame on The Jewish Press for opposing the Child Victims Act. You associate the bill with the progressive Democratic agenda, suggesting that the legislation must be some evil plot to undermine Jewish education. What nonsense!

Leaders at Orthodox yeshivos should serve as a moral compass for the Jewish community. Any educational institution that does not address claims of sexual abuse should not continue to function in its current capacity with its current leaders. There are other Orthodox educational leaders and yeshivos with higher moral standards and values that will continue to serve our community.

Perhaps, with the passage of this legislation, educational leaders will be more motivated to preemptively prevent sexual abuse at its onset by rigorous screening and immediately addressing concerns.

Opposing this bill because it might bankrupt yeshivos suggests, G-d forbid, that abuse claims should be dismissed to protect yeshivos. Your editorial is part of a shameful legacy of covering up misdeeds at all costs.

As a community, we need to abandon this shameful behavior and provide justice for the victims. Community leaders that deny them justice for the “greater good” of Jewish education fail to realize that no greater good exists if even one child is sexually abused at a Jewish institution.

David J. Mond, M.D.

 

Prager Has Us Pegged Wrong

In “Does The Left Care About Truth?” Dennis Prager argues that President Trump’s critics are hypocrites for opposing the wall due to financial considerations because they fund other, more costly projects.

But wastefulness is determined by usefulness. If Trump asked Congress for a $1,000 toothbrush, everyone would agree that granting the request would be financially irresponsible. Similarly, it makes no sense to fund a wall that won’t work.

Among other things, Trump has promised that the wall will stop drugs from “pouring in” to this country. But according to the U.S Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, most illegal drugs are smuggled through legal ports of entry. So the wall would hardly solve this problem.

And according to a recent Pew Research Center study, illegal immigration has been trending downward since 2007. So there is no crisis necessitating the building of a wall for that reason either.

Border security funding should go towards technological improvements, seizing illegal drugs, and processing asylum-seekers.

Mr. Prager mischaracterizes the position of opponents of the wall. Walls are not immoral when effective. But it is immoral to construct an ineffective wall simply to fulfill what is essentially an ill-conceived campaign promise.

Alan Weintraub

 

Hold a Referendum on the Wall

I believe President Trump and Congress are playing a game of “chicken” over the security wall along our southern border and cannot resolve this conundrum in the best interest of our country. They appear to be obsessed with victory and political power.

I, therefore, propose that the voting public have the final say via a national referendum. There is no precedent of holding federal referendums in our history, but that should not be an obstacle. The English settled Brexit with a referendum, and we can solve this conflict paralyzing our government with a referendum as well.

Jerrold Terdiman, MD
Woodcliff Lake, NJ

 

Poker – That’s the Solution

Alan Magill’s article last week, “Find Out What Elderly People Enjoy,” gave me food for thought.

As elderly man (age 92), I have been around the block a few times. After retiring from my job at age 65 in 1991, I decided to start a second career of sorts playing poker. From my experience and observations, I have found that playing recreational poker may well be the best defense against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

For us seniors, poker provides mental challenges as well as great social interaction.

George Epstein
Los Angeles, CA

 

How Low Will the Times Go?

The New York Times has reached a new low by publishing a vicious tirade by Michelle Alexander against the state of Israel. She invokes Martin Luther King in making her case even though the reverend was an avid supporter of Israel.

Apparently, Michelle Alexander has been a more-than-willing student of propaganda generated by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Supporters of Israel are castigated while the enemies of that democratic nation are congratulated for their daily attacks against it.

The Arabs have one goal: the destruction of Israel, an objective apparently supported by Michelle Alexander who was given a platform to advance her views by the ever-genteel New York Times.

Nelson Marans
New York, NY

 

Who Could Have Seen That Coming?

Surprise, surprise. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is running for president.

She promised during her 2018 reelection campaign to serve a full six-year term in the Senate, but many knew she wasn’t telling the truth.

Gillibrand will now be spending more time in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other primary states than in New York’s 62 counties.  She will be working the phones and attending dozens of fundraisers day and night. There will be little time to look after her constituents’ interests in Washington.

New Yorkers deserve a full-time senator in Washington. If Gillibrand is serious about running, she should resign her Senate seat today. Governor Cuomo can appoint a caretaker senator for the remainder of 2019.

In the meantime, Gillibrand has won the “liar, liar, pants on fire” award for her complete dishonesty. And who wants a liar in the White House?

Larry Penner
Great Neck, NY

 

The Chofetz Chaim’s Priorities

I really liked Israel Mizrahi’s article last week, “A Four-Page Letter From The Chofetz Chaim.” It was interesting to see how inexpensive the Chofetz Chaim’s books were. Even by the standards of the time, they were inexpensive. It seems that the Chofetz Chaim was less interested in money and more interested in G-d and people, especially his fellow Jews.

Raymond S. Solomon
Rego Park, NY

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