Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Without Zionism, 6.5 Million Would Have Died

Thank you for Rabbi Hanoch Teller’s article last week on “Why The Religious Did Not Embrace Political Zionism.”

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It should be noted that the Zionist movement saved a half million Jews from the Holocaust in Eretz Yisrael and later became a haven for hundreds of thousands desperate Holocaust survivors, almost a million Jews from Arab lands, and another million Jews decades later from the former Soviet Jews and Ethiopia.

A majority of world Jewry lives free from persecution in the State of Israel, which is a world power and leader in technology, medicine, and other fields.

Whether it was the Six-Day War or the raid on Entebbe, we have witnessed amazing events as a result of the Zionist dream. There are more synagogues and yeshivahs than one could have ever imagined in the past.

While we can not understand Hashem’s ways, let us rejoice at this open and revealed miracle: Israel.

Harvey (Chaim) Herbert

 

Staying Tough on Iran

Iran and China may have inked a $400 billion deal, but that should have little impact on our sanctions against Iran.

No matter what promises Iran makes, its nuclear and missile program will continue –openly or secretly. So the U.S. (and Israel) should stay the course. Increasing sanctions will not only hinder Iran from becoming a nuclear power; it will increase the likelihood of a regime change occurring in Iran.

Nelson Marans
New York, NY

 

On Covid Tolerance

I agree wholeheartedly with Rivkah Lambert Adler (“On Scarlet Letters And Green Passports,” op-ed, March 26). We should be able to disagree about Covid-19 without demonizing one another.

Some people wear two masks and ran to get the vaccine as soon as it came out. Others believe wearing a mask is senseless and don’t wish to inject an experimental foreign substance into their body – especially if they’re young.

Both sides think the other side is crazy. So what should we do? Well, both sides can try to impose its beliefs on the other and generate a tremendous amount of ill will, hostility, and even hatred. Or, both sides can agree to disagree and try to organize society in such a manner so that both sides are happy – or at least can manage to live with one another.

When my happiness depends on your compliance, bad things almost always result. What makes – or used to make – American society beautiful was tolerance of difference of opinions. (We don’t have a “Torah” on Covid and, even if we did, we don’t have an established religion here with an authoritative body appointed by G-d to decide the law.)

“But your behavior can kill me!” says one side. “And your behavior is killing society!” says the other side.

Well, charedim think the behavior of most Modern Orthodox Jews – to say nothing of non-frum Jews – inspires Hashem’s anger on the world. And many Modern Orthodox Jews think charedim are delaying the redemption by not moving to Israel. Should we reignite all the old religious wars?

My point is: When people disagree vehemently, we have two options. We can hate and kill each other – that’s what Protestants and Catholics did for hundreds of years – or we can learn to reach a modus vivendi based on an understanding that smart people of goodwill can come to different conclusions.

I hope all of us choose the second option as it relates to the Covid-19 vaccine.

Joshua Bernstein
Brooklyn, NY

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