A Goose/Gander Problem
Earlier in his generally laudable opinion article (“Academic Freedom Isn’t an Excuse for Antisemitism,” Sept 22), Jonathan Tobin writes,
“Not only is such a thing unimaginable, we live in a time when the appearance of those who question leftist orthodoxies about race or gender are subjected to cancellations, boycotts, and even harassment and violence. In today’s dominant ‘cancel culture’ atmosphere, academic freedom goes out the window when it comes to conservative dissidents.”
Of course, by the end, after making the case that donors and others with leverage at the University of Pennsylvania should let the university know their displeasure and urge it to never again host such heinous events such as the Palestine Writes Literature Festival (and I agree it is awful), Tobin makes sure to add:
“[This] reaction to ‘Palestine Writes’ is not a form of cancel culture.”
Hmm, rules for thee but not for me, Mr. Tobin?
Well, which one is it, may groups bring pressure on institutions to cancel speakers and events that they don’t like or may they not?
The Lie of Widespread Conspiracy
In response to Myron Hecker’s letter last week, repeating the litany of lies regarding the election being stolen.
I think that Mr. Hecker is actually correct that millions believe, like he does, Trump’s lies – lies Trump concocted before the results of the election were even in.
It’s sad, remarkable and absurd to me that we live in such times.
Let me ask this of those who still believe in this deception: If the election was stolen and there was widespread foul play and voter fraud, that means that the Supreme Court (including three Trump-appointed judges), which refused to hear any cases about it, lower court Trump-appointed judges who threw out every claim about election interference that reached their desk, Trump’s own attorney general Bill Barr, who went to bat for Trump regarding the Mueller report, and – get this! – Trump’s own daughter Ivanka, who said on video that she accepted Bill Barr’s assessment ALL were in on the conspiracy to deny Trump another term.
Amazing,! The brilliant Trumpers have uncovered the greatest conspiracy in the history of the world – of course, without any evidence.
For there is no evidence that says Ivanka, Barr, et al were conspiring. I hope one day that the Trump faithful will return to reality.
New York, NY
Only If Shuls Make Space for Kids…
It’s wonderful that going to shul helped Kylie Ora Lobell get through post-partum depression and that her shul has a great childcare program (“Should Children Come To Shul?” September 14).
The question of whether little kids should be brought to shul really depends on the setup. If there’s a separate room for young kids to play in, and even babysitting or a kids’ program too, then great – bring the little ones. But some shuls are small and simply don’t have an extra room to set aside for kids, or a budget or volunteers for childcare. Those with young kids who want to bring them to shul should seek out a place that is able to cater to their needs without disturbing the tefillah. But it’s not realistic to expect that everywhere.
Kids Will Make Noise
I sympathize with Kylie Ora Lobell’s need for socialization and desire to have her kids be comfortable in shul from a young age, but she too quickly skirts over the issue of babies and young children disturbing the tefillah.
So many parents just sit there either oblivious to their kids making noise or repeatedly shushing them while they continue to – not purposely, of course – disrupt people’s concentration. Babies and toddlers should not have to be shushed for making noise which normal kids do, but the answer is not to let them carry on crying or screaming, but to either get up immediately and take them outside, or don’t bring them to shul in the first place.