I have always found Gary Rosenblatt’s columns to be informative, well reasoned and sound. Unfortunately, his Dec. 10 column, “Why I Don’t Share Beinart's Pessimism,” is a disappointment in that it leaves out the horrendous details of Israel's occupation.
The pro-Israel American community and decades of Israeli propaganda have set very narrow parameters of what the American media can report on Israel.
Rabbi Zierler's excellent letter ("Pull The Plug on Gap Year In Israel," Nov. 26) brought to mind the forums on the post-high school year in Israel held at Mount Airy Lodge (in the Poconos) during the years when there was a Passover program at that hotel. Although my daughter was at the time too young to spend a year in Israel, I attended these forums because I observed that the "gap year" had become de rigueur, and I questioned whether, for a variety of reasons, all Jewish teens should devote a year to intensive study in Israel.
I read with interest Tamar Snyder’s article on the “Jewish Community’s $20,000 Gender Gap” (Dec. 3) about women not holding top professional positions in the Jewish community. I have been very troubled about this for many, many years.
Although I am not Jewish, I met with Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in 1976 to discuss brain death and organ donation with him (“RCA Backs Off Stand On Brain Death For Transplants,” Dec. 3). He told me that brain death was death according to the Talmud, and I reported his opinion in an article I wrote that was published on Oct. 10, 1977 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It is a pity the RCA’s document omitted mentioning my testimony that appears in video form on the website of the Halachic Organ Donor Society (www.hods.org).
Your article regarding the recent Rabbinical Council of America report on brain stem death and organ donations (Dec. 3) quoted RCA President Moshe Kletenick as saying that the report took no position and was designed to serve as an educational tool to assist local rabbis in studying the issue.
While I think that the halacha accepts brain death as death, and there is a halachic demand to donate organs, I respect those who disagree with me (“RCA Backs Off Stand On Brain Death For Transplants,” Dec. 3).
But I find it impossible and halachically untenable for the Rabbinical Council of America rabbis to conclude that one can reject brain death and organ donation yet benefit from them. If it’s prohibited, then the RCA should announce that people should die and not try to save their life by taking someone else’s.