As a longtime advocate on behalf of Jonathan Pollard — and one of the first — I find the efforts now underway to try to convince Israel President Shimon Peres to decline the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in June unless President Barack Obama grants clemency to Pollard to be foolish and, in fact, counterproductive (“Pollard Supporters To Lean On Peres,” April 20).
I was more than a little surprised to read in Gary Rosenblatt’s column Rabbi Joy Levitt’s belief that teaching our kids to chant haftorah “is wasted training,” contributing to the sabotage of their Jewish life (“Changing Up The Bar And Bat Mitzvah Experience,” April 20).
In his “Mideast Visit With An Arab Slant” (March 30), Steve Lipman reports on the latest fallout from an ongoing controversy largely invented by Alan Dershowitz, and now perpetuated by Abraham Foxman and colleagues at the Anti-Defamation League, against Friends Seminary, a respected New York City independent secondary school. Lamentably, while Friends is known for its long history of promoting fairness, tolerance and justice and asking its students (including my children) to live these values, it has not received similar treatment from Dershowitz, Foxman and others.
My vote is with Rabbis David Wolpe and Dan Ain (“Are You There God? It’s Us, The Jews,” April 13). A godless Judaism has no transcendent meaning, no absolute morality and therefore no magnetic north on a moral compass, no Divine partner with whom to improve the world.
Vice Provost Charles Robbins of Stony Brook University wrote (Letters, March 23) that Stewart Ain’s article was “rife with inaccuracies and, as a result, aims to stir up controversy where none exists” (“Revised Stony Brook Calendar Draws Fire,” March 16). However, anyone familiar with the situation would see that Robbins’ letter is misleading and even contains falsehoods. He is defending an unfortunate university decision, and apparently has to state untruths to do so.