Concerning “Seeing Red at Magen David Adom” (Jan. 28, “In The Beginning”), American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) has a proud legacy of service to Israel, starting before the establishment of the state. Our 71-year history of dedicated support for Magen David Adom has been a close and warm one. Like all organizations raising funds for Israeli institutions, there have been cultural disagreements; however, the bonds between us remain strong and unbroken.
Kudos to Rabbi Dov Linzer for his public statement that insisting on the cardio-respiratory definition of death while permitting the acceptance of a vital organ is “morally untenable” (“Pushback From Some Orthodox Rabbis On Brain-Death Ruling,” Jan. 14). He is undoubtedly correct.
The position that a Jew is prohibited from donating a heart, but may receive one, violates the most fundamental axiom of ethical reasoning, and as such cannot be justified morally.
We applaud your article reflecting a realistic picture of Jewish life in Europe that is far more positive than that often depicted in American and Israeli media (“LimmudUK: Success On A Grand Scale,” Between the Lines, Jan. 7). As well as the large cultural events you mention, such as Limmud and the growth in Jewish cultural centers, there is also a growth in synagogue-based activity.
Kudos to Gary Rosenblatt for his poignant and timely appreciation of the valiant efforts to promote serious, intellectually engaging and spiritually inspiring adult education endeavors, such as Limmud (“LimmudUK: Success On A Grand Scale,” Jan. 7).
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin states: “God teaches Pharaoh and his people basic lessons in theology and informs Pharaoh of the Divine concern for every human being” (Sabbath Week, Jan. 21).
How does this reconcile with the killing of the Egyptian first-born or the Egyptian deaths in the Red Sea. Where is this concern for every human being? I am sure there are better ways to understand the process and lessons of the Ten Plagues.
Jonathan Mark writes that much of what happened in Israel in 2010 was ignored by the mainstream media. He adds, “Yet, the general media covered the settlements incessantly” (“Most Ignored Story of 2010? — Israel,” Jan. 7). In other words, what might make Israel look bad was reported; what showed Israel’s virtue was ignored.
Even though there are no Jewish Republican members of the House besides Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia (“Republicans Thin On Jewish Muscle,” Jan. 7), there are certainly plenty of Jews in both the House and the Senate. There are 12 Jewish senators (all Democrats) and 27 representatives (including Cantor).
Two states have two Jewish senators. Considering the membership of the Senate, that makes a 12 percent Jewish representation, far greater than statistically reasonable. There are still enough for a minyan.
Stewart Ain trivializes the needs of observant Jews for an eruv (“Eruv Suit In Hamptons Fueling New Tensions,” Jan. 21) by describing observant Jews hiring non-Jews to push their baby carriages, strollers and wheelchairs so they could attend synagogue on Shabbat.
Paying a non-Jew to push strollers and wheelchairs is normally not permitted. “Amira Leakum” (asking a non-Jew to violate the Shabbat for a Jew) is permitted only in restricted circumstances.