In your Sept. 16 issue you published two different opinion pieces on “Israel and the Palestinian Statehood Bid.” Michael Weil took the leftist view that Israel should “support Palestinian statehood in the strongest manner.” Mervyn Danker took the current Israeli government stance that “only a return to the peace table and negotiations” with Israel can lead to a Palestinian state.
When I lived on the Upper West Side, I attended Manhattan Jewish Experience Shabbat services; Rabbi [Mark] Wildes does a stellar job with this program. However, I respectfully disagree with his views that “Judaism must be seen as something worth paying for,” and that “anything of true quality costs money,” in reference to Rabbi Wildes’ opposition to free religious services (Letters, Oct. 14).
I would love to read the transcripts of the negotiations [in the Israel-Hamas prisoner swap], where it was determined that 1,027 prisoners would be freed, and not 1,028, 1,050, or 1,100 (“Arab Spring Seen Forcing Israel’s Hand In Shalit Deal,” Oct. 14). I would also love to see what criteria they used to determine who, if anyone, was too evil or dangerous to release, as opposed to those who were released.
I recently returned from Australia where I facilitated and presented at a national conference of Israel education, organized by the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) in Melbourne. The conference was attended by almost every Zionist day school from across Australia, and from across the ideological and religious spectrum. Despite the differences of ideology, there was a tremendous amount of mutual respect and cooperation.
Much has been mentioned about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s lip-whipping of Texas Gov. Rich Perry in a recent televised debate, cleverly and repeatedly misunderstanding the slower, deliberate talking Perry, creating the perception of being up against a confused rival.
As a rabbi with a speech impediment, I caution those overly impressed by smooth words.
After reading “Are Comics The Jewish Art Form?” (Oct. 7), I felt compelled to respond.
As an educator, I was struck by the possibility of using the article as a lesson plan for age-appropriate Jewish and regular classes. The history of comics, cartoons, immigration, politics and World War II could be subsections of the course. Students could be asked to create their own statements, in comic or cartoon form.
Thanks to the writer, Paul Buhle, for diverting our thoughts from the grim and grimy to a topic that informs with a smile.
I read a curious sentence in Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “When To Forgive And When Not To” (Sept. 16): “While it is a Christian ideal to love and forgive the sinner, Judaism teaches, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’”
Does that idea really appear in Judaism? I indeed can find Jewish sources for hating the enemies of God (for example, Psalms 139:22,23), but I do not know any for hating my own enemies. The category of “God’s enemies” may not happen to coincide with “my enemies.”
Although there are arguments and counter-arguments on the issue of clemency or pardon for Jonathan Pollard, there is no doubt about two aspects of that issue (“Jewish Leaders Press Pollard Release,” Oct. 7).