Conflating Two Issues


Your editorial, “The Faith Factor” (Sept. 2), unfortunately conflates the issue of support for Israel with support for its policies.

Liberals, including some who are observant Jews, are as committed to Israel’s security, welfare and success as are those of a conservative point of view.

Israel Should Act


Your editorial, “Arab Spring, Summer Chaos” (Aug. 26), articulates both hope and concern for how the still-evolving upheaval in the Arab world will turn out.

Of special concern is whether the popular hostility toward Israel (especially in Egypt) may negatively impact Israel in an environment where public opinion may actually be democratically translated into policies.

Reasons For Arab Anger


Your editorial, “Arab Spring, Summer Chaos” (Aug. 26), is certainly to be commended for its optimism that the wellspring of democratic sentiment that has emerged throughout the Arab world since January might still herald real and sweeping political change throughout the region. Yet the piece falls short in its assessment of Arab attitudes towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Rationale For Bombings


I understand the angst regarding coupling the topic of the Holocaust and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 (“The Days After,” Aug. 26).

However, I must point out facts that were not considered in the writing of this article.

Before the bombing, the United States government warned the leaders of Japan of the devastating effects of the atomic bomb and threatened the dropping of the bomb unless the Japanese agreed to an unconditional surrender. They refused, possibly because they didn’t believe the warning.

Supports Weprin


As Adam Dickter reports, Ed Koch’s endorsement of Republican, Bob Turner, for the seat vacated by Democrat Anthony Weiner is causing some uncertainty, at least in the polls, as to the outcome of the race between Turner and Democrat David Weprin (“Weprin’s Tightrope,” Aug. 26). By the time the election date arrives, I hope the “average” voters will all display their economic common sense, and Jewish voters, especially, will display their seichel [wisdom] by voting for Weprin.

Supporting Obama


In his Aug. 26 Letter, “On Cause of the Riots,” Henry R. Marbach states that he does not understand liberal Jews who support Democrats like President Barack Obama. Here are just a few reasons:

Today’s Republican Party has very few moderates and the Tea Party’s increasing involvement is shifting the party even further to the right.

Credits Reporter


In the past few weeks, we have seen letters criticizing and defending The Jewish Week over its story on the Shomrim. However, I have yet to see this statement: keep up the great work Ms. [Hella] Winston.


More Than A Religion


In her article “Is Judaism A Religion Or A Culture?" (Sept. 2), Leora Batnitzky discusses what defines Judaism.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch emphasized a number of times in his writings that Judaism is not a religion.

In his commentary on Shemos [Exodus] 6:7 — “I will take you to Myself as a people and I will be a God to you; you will come to know that I am Hashem, your God, Who brings you out from under the burdens of Egypt” — Rav Hirsch wrote:

Apologize First


Not until Rev. Al Sharpton apologizes for his role in the Tawana Brawley episode, apologizes to the Westchester district attorney he maligned and apologizes with no equivocation for his role in inciting the crowd in the Crown Heights pogrom, can I see myself or Jewish leaders forgetting the past and accepting Rev. Sharpton as a man with integrity and decency.

Until then, I will see Rev. Sharpton as a demagogue who is being expedient in his later years for the sake of a job on TV.

Deciding How We Live


Judaism does not maintain that one’s lease on life depends on how hard you pray. Your Editorial, “Tragic Rescue” (Sept. 2), makes that primitive claim, though. You cite “the Unetaneh Tokef prayer, a moving part of the liturgy that asserts that one’s prayers during the Days of Repentance determine who will live and who will die...”

The prayer actually says that such judgment is in the hands of God. And the fact is that we mortals don’t understand the basis on which God metes out life and death.

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