Ruling On PLO


The Editorial (“Exposing The PLO In Court,” Feb. 27) doesn’t really distinguish
between the Palestinian Authority then, under Yasir Arafat (who was complicit with
terrorism), and the PA under Abbas, which has made efforts to combat terror

Discovering Israel Through Food


Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni makes some very good points about widening the discussion
about Israel on college campuses (“Widen The Israel Discussion On Campus,” Opinion, Feb. 20).

Mideast Chutzpah


David Makovsky, who until recently served as one of the State Department’s Middle East “peace processors,” was quoted in a JTA story in your Feb. 13 issue as criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for planning to speak to Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat (“Gauging Possible Fallout From Bibi’s Speech”).

President ‘Sugarcoats’ Terrorism


The important sentiments expressed by Gary Rosenblatt in his column last week, “First Step To Defeating Terror: Call It What It Is,” were right on the mark. As Jews in the United States, we are privileged to enjoy the religious protections afforded to us by the U.S. Constitution and are fortunate to be able to openly practice our faith without fear of reprisal. That being said, it behooves all of us to recognize that terrorist attacks targeting Jews in Europe are on the rise and the brazen anti-Semitism being exhibited in European countries is becoming rather commonplace.

Pre-Feminist Idea


In last week’s article about birth control and Jewish law (“Birth Control, Jewish Law Collide at Stern”), Stern College undergraduate Rachel Robinson was quoted as saying that “the idea that sex is not just for procreation is inherently a feminist idea.”

Delaying Childbirth And Halacha


 Regarding last week’s article “Birth Control, Jewish Law Collide At Stern”: I too attended Rabbi Moshe Kahn’s recent shiur on the halachic parameters of delaying procreation at Stern College for Women. Rav Kahn’s view on temporarily delaying procreation has a strong halachic basis, and is founded on the rulings of the Rivash and the Rema, among other rishonim (rabbinic commentaries).

Birth Control And Feminism


The idea that sex is not solely for birth control is not just due to modern feminism (“Birth Control, Halacha Collide At Stern,” Feb. 20). It is an idea held by many rabbinic authorities through the ages, and is even the prominent idea in the Talmud and Rabbinic Judaism.

Stern Rabbi Responds


Hannah Dreyfus’ report on my recent lecture at Stern College for Women
(“Birth Control, Jewish Law Collide At Stern,” Feb. 18) misrepresented
the thrust of my arguments, conflating a strictly halachic question about the
permissibility of birth control by married couples into unrelated ideological
debates surrounding feminism and sexual empowerment.
In my talk, I argued that halacha permits couples that feel unprepared to
assume the responsibilities of parenthood — for psychological, financial, 
or other reasons —to temporarily delay the mitzvah of procreation. Contrary
to common practice in the Orthodox community, couples do not require a heter, 
or dispensation, from a rabbi to use birth control.

Defends Bibi


Following Rabbi Gerald Skolnik’s advice [in his Jewish Week blog] would mean Netanyahu should never speak to
Congress, because speaking to Congress is lobbying for something. If you
agree that the president is being too lenient/naive (as even the EU opines)
with Iran developing the bomb, then stopping a bad deal is necessary and the
only routes are lobbying or taking independent, perhaps military, action.
prefer lobbying as a first option.

Overlooked In L.A.


I am a freelance Iranian-Jewish journalist based in Southern California and
have been covering L.A.’s Iranian Jewish community since 2000.

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