The woman who called my office a few weeks ago wouldn’t tell me her name. “That’s not important,” she said. “I just wanted to thank you for the toothbrush.” Sensing my confusion, she explained that she lost her home during Hurricane Sandy (“Sandy Aid For Houses Of Worship Stalled,” Nov. 1). Within a matter of hours, she had the clothes on her back, a small suitcase of valuables, and that was pretty much it. When she got to a shelter, she got warm clothing, a cot to sleep on, and a small bag with essentials like toiletries.
I am truly baffled by the news priorities of The Jewish Week. Your front page (Nov. 15 issue) has headline articles about GA [General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America discussions on pluralism, the nickname of a British soccer team and anti-Semitic students at a public school in upstate New York.
In the Oct. 11 issue, travel writer Hilary Larson profiled New Bedford, Mass., in her story “One Whale Of A Town.” I am one of the two rabbis in New Bedford, and it is too bad that Ms. Larson did not contact me about the Jewish history of New Bedford. I have done extensive research using the documentary record of the Jewish community. These documents explain the objectives of the immigrant Jewish community and what European rabbis were doing in the city and beyond to strengthen Judaism.
To be Orthodox means to appreciate the fact that the mitzvot are of divine origin and the Torah is the “manual” to life. Another principle to Orthodoxy is that no human is perfect. We are each born with our unique evil inclination: for some the temptation is money, for others drugs, for others it is observing the Sabbath, for still others it is the illicit sexual relations of any of the varieties listed in the Torah reading of Yom Kippur afternoon.
There are many statements in Marion Usher’s opinion piece on the Pew survey that I agree with (“Religion Is Only One Way To Identify As A Jew,” Nov. 1). Her conclusions, though, appear to me to be totally at odds with the facts, even as she presents them. Blaming “nuance” for the fact that reality doesn’t meet her fantasy is nothing more than denial.
Regarding “Jewish-Arab Social Gap Threatens Start-Up Nation” (Nov. 1): interesting subject; terrible reporting. Among the article’s various oversights: Not all Israeli Jews are alike; the haredim are as under-employed as the Arabs.
Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, as all Chabad emissaries, should presumably be commended for his work to perpetuate Judaism, but his “silver lining” (“A Rabbi Sees Silver Lining In Study’s Findings,” Opinion, Nov. 1), which may seem to somehow find “wonderful” the identification of so many people who oppose organized religion and religious organizations, bends way out of line, and linings, silver or sugar-coated.
Of all people, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League should not weigh in on the topic of whether the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous should honor an Allianz executive (“Fresh Outrage Over Plan To Honor Allianz Chief,” Nov. 1).
I was moved by Lisa Klug’s piece on Neshama Carlebach, “Soul Daughter” (Oct. 18). I was disappointed, however, by the omission of any mention of another part of the legacy she carries on so beautifully.
While the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been in the news recently for our dinner honoree, I do not want the broader Jewish community to lose sight of the important work our organization does each and every day (“Fresh Outrage Over Plan To Honor Allianz Chief,” Nov. 1).