Your article “Incentives to Lure Faithful Seen Growing” (April 16) about the Fleetwood Synagogue’s initiative — offering up to $30,000 for new families to use towards the purchase of a new home, provided the family stays in the community for 10 years — is a very exciting and creative concept.
Your JInsider column of March 19 on regrettable moments cites a Talmudic vignette on “rejection of Jesus.” In such a potentially controversial take on this Midrash, the source in Masechet Sotah 47a should have been cited. Further, the variant readings in different Talmudic manuscripts should have been cited.
I read Gary Rosenblatt’s column on the PBS documentary “Worse than War” based on Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s book with great interest (“Preventing Genocide Is Easier Than Stopping It,” April 16).
The documentary has not yet aired here in Israel, but we all look forward to its viewing soon. We had no shortage of Shoah media showings throughout our own commemorations in Israel, as we have each year on Yom HaShoah.
This year I attended one of the thousands of ceremonies held in our middle schools here in Modiin.
I try to treat my colleagues with respect, but I resent being compared to a Toyota salesman and I strongly suspect that God may not be fond of being compared to a Chelm story (“Toyota, Auschwitz and Chelm,” Opinion, Rabbi Joshua Hammerman).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not have to defend himself against any thoughts that his policies have brought Israel into isolation from the rest of the world “March On Washington Seen If U.S.-Israeli Crisis Continues,” April 2).
Having read professor Jack Wertheimer’s essay in Commentary as well as Ruth Messinger’s response in The Jewish Week (“Encountering Our Faith Through Serving ‘The Other’,” April 2), I believe the disagreement mirrors a significant and growing chasm within the larger Jewish community. The issue is not whether the Jewish people have a role and responsibility within the larger world. We are not the children of Noah but of Abraham. Noah built an ark only for himself and his immediately family. Abraham was concerned for the whole city of Sodom.
If it’s time for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be creative, as was asserted in Francine Klagsbrun’s opinion piece last week, it’s time for the author and Israel to learn from history, or be doomed to repeat the disasters of appeasement. Moral relativism is now in ascendancy, so that there is the equivalence of the Israel narrative and the Palestinian narrative, no true or false, no right or wrong, but never let the facts get in the way.
I have enormous respect for what Rabbi Elie Kaunfer and his partners have been accomplishing in engaging Jews — especially those of a younger generation — more substantively in Jewish study and worship. The excerpts from his new book “Empowered Judaism” published in the April 9 edition (“The Real Crisis In American Judaism”) give readers an excellent sense of the enormous good that is being achieved at Mechon Hadar and at independent minyanim throughout the country. I have ample reason to be proud of these things.
Gary Rosenblatt’s column on Yom HaShoah raises important questions about the future of Holocaust commemoration (“Yom HaShoah: Finding A Way To Remember,” April 9). If anything, there is a growing observance and awareness in Jewish and non-Jewish communities alike, and in the number of public observances (including in state capitals, military bases, universities, and government agencies) around the country.