Bar/Bat Mitzvah Hype


 The role of the bar/bat mitzvah in contemporary Jewish life deserves all the attention Gary Rosenblatt gave it, and more (“Changing Up The Bar And Bat Mitzvah Experience,” April 20). It reminded me of the parent who sends the child to Hebrew school with the warning, “My parents made me go, and you have to go also.”

Finest Essay Yet


I’ve been a reader of The Jewish Week for many years, and I thought Eric Herschthal’s essay, “Are You There God?” (April 13), was the finest the paper has produced. It focused on an all-too-vital and widespread issue that hasn’t been given enough press.

Religion Without God


Eric Herschthal’s question: “Can religion, especially Judaism, work if you don’t believe in God?” ironically and unintentionally puts its finger on exactly the issue (“Are You There, God?” April 13). His article is well written, articulate, rational and totally beside the point.

Friedman Depicted Unfairly


Your article regarding anti-Semitism at Brooklyn College is missing certain facts (“CUNY Probing Anti-Semitism Charges At Brooklyn College,” April 13). For starters, names of many faculty members were misspelled.

Documenting The Plagues


Fortunately, I missed reading The Jewish Week until after the Pesach seder, but in catching up, I read “Passover Haggadah: Fact or Fiction?” (April 6) in which Diane Sharon expressed her opinion that the facts of the Exodus are a metaphor, which if believed would cause one to “base their belief on historical facts that are later falsified.” Rather than accept Sharon’s version, documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici responded to these charges via a documentary entitled “Exodus: Decoded.”

Holocaust Apathy A Problem


Your editorial entitled “Holocaust Observance” (April 20) points out the increasing importance of Holocaust observance as the generation of survivors passes on. You ask, “If the people who lived through the death camps and ghettos are no longer around ... who will refute the Holocaust deniers?”

Counterproductive To Snub Obama


As a longtime advocate on behalf of Jonathan Pollard — and one of the first — I find the efforts now underway to try to convince Israel President Shimon Peres to decline the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in June unless President Barack Obama grants clemency to Pollard to be foolish and, in fact, counterproductive (“Pollard Supporters To Lean On Peres,” April 20).

One-On-One Training


Suggestions to get rid of the one-on-one teaching of haftorot are quite misguided. (“Changing Up The Bar And Bat Mitzvah Experience,” April 20).

Value Of Haftorahs


I was more than a little surprised to read in Gary Rosenblatt’s column Rabbi Joy Levitt’s belief that teaching our kids to chant haftorah “is wasted training,” contributing to the sabotage of their Jewish life (“Changing Up The Bar And Bat Mitzvah Experience,” April 20).

Godless Judaism


My vote is with Rabbis David Wolpe and Dan Ain (“Are You There God? It’s Us, The Jews,” April 13). A godless Judaism has no transcendent meaning, no absolute morality and therefore no magnetic north on a moral compass, no Divine partner with whom to improve the world.

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