Times Have Changed

07/20/2016 - 00:44

Rabbi Avi Shafran’s letter in response to Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Ruth’s Conversion Would Be Rejected Today” (June 17), suggests that by stating “thy God (will be) my God,” Ruth was “declaring acceptance of the commandments” of the Torah. The story of Ruth takes place many centuries before the compilation of the Mishnah, at a time prior to the development of the corpus of Jewish law that Rabbi Shafran would have us believe needs to be accepted “in principle” and “sincerity” by a convert to Judaism.

Probing Ruth’s Motives

07/20/2016 - 00:44

Rabbi Allen Schwartz’s contention in his letter “Headline Not Backed Up” (Letter, June 24) correctly identifies a shortcoming in “Ruth’s Conversion Would Be Rejected Today” (Editor’s column, June 17). Since the fall of the Soviet Union, many non-Jews have gone to Eretz Yisrael and identified with the Jewish nation by becoming citizens, to maintain family relationships.

Some want to intensify the relationship by converting.

Appreciates Essay

07/20/2016 - 00:43

Kudos to Rabbi Haskel Lookstein for his response to the politically dictated obstruction of the Israeli rabbinate to American rabbinic conversions (“A Travesty Of Rabbinical Justice In Israel,” Opinion online).

On Rabbi Lookstein

07/20/2016 - 00:42

That the chief rabbinate in Petach Tikvah would not accept a conversion by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, one of the most outstanding, compassionate and well-known Orthodox rabbis in the United States, would be the stuff of farce, were it not a tragedy for the bride-to-be. One can only hope that one day soon the Israeli rabbinate will wake up and realize that clear thinking and common sense should prevail, so that then Petach Tikvah can resound with the joyous ‘voice of the bridegroom and voice of the bride.’

Chiefs Defined By Followers

07/20/2016 - 00:40

Though they don’t speak in the divine plural like the Pope, rabbis, like all clergy, speak In Loco Deus, in the name of God. Ultimately, their power derives from the same source as His, our belief in them.

Worried About Trump

07/20/2016 - 00:39

I find it astounding that anyone who understands Jewish history and tries to practice our religious beliefs and values could even consider voting for Donald Trump (“Israel-Firsters Seen Edging Toward Trump,” Editor’s column, July 1).

Critical Of #BlackLivesMatter

07/20/2016 - 00:38

The Jewish Week article, “Jewish Groups Walk Tightrope On Racial Tensions” (July 15), understated the concern of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) about the ADL’s promotion of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. 

Israel-Diaspora Divide

07/13/2016 - 09:07

Regarding “The Lookstein Lockout” (Editorial, July 1): A number of years ago, as part of a synagogue group, I took a tour of Israel. The tour leaders went to great lengths to let our group know that they, as well as the Israeli government and its citizens, value American Jews as part of the fabric of Israeli and Jewish society. Having not been draft eligible to serve in the IDF, I was somewhat skeptical of that statement. That sentiment has now been formally broken.

Agrees This Time

07/13/2016 - 09:07

Although in the past, I’ve been critical of Gary Rosenblatt’s right-leaning politics, I want to express great respect for his speaking out against those who would be fooled by Donald Trump’s absurd cult of personality, and for acknowledging both Ms. Clinton’s “excellent voting record on Israel” and the fact that “a strong and respected U.S. makes for a stronger Israel.” (“Israel-Firsters Seen Edging Toward Trump,” Editor’s column, July 1)

‘Israel-Firsters’ Offensive

07/13/2016 - 09:06

I was very disappointed that Gary Rosenblatt used the term “Israel-Firsters” in his column (“Israel-Firsters Seen Edging Toward Trump,” July 1). This is an expression that casts aspersions on the loyalty of American Jews and is frequently used by anti-Semites. The use of this expression damaged an otherwise cogent analysis.

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