As the Presidential race progresses, once again the role of religion in politics has re-emerged as a common tension that cannot be dismissed. American Jews have often feared bringing religion into the political discourse out of fear of anti-Semitism, but this concern has hopefully lessened since Senator Lieberman was a serious Presidential candidate while being open about his traditional Jewish practices and perspectives. In our commitment to build a just society, we have an imperative to ask questions about the religious views of our politicians.
In this age of deception and fraud, it is worthwhile to remember the unequivocal voice of the Jewish tradition. As Maimonides rules: “It is forbidden to mislead people in business or to deceive them. This is equally true whether it involves gentiles or Jews. Thus when one knows that there is a defect in one’s merchandise, one must so inform the purchaser. And it is even forbidden to deceive people in words only” (M.T. Hil. Mekhira 18).
When journalist Peter Beinart talks about the growing alienation between young American Jews and Israel, and with their Jewish practice, he is quick to point out that he isn’t referring to the Orthodox.
Indeed, young Orthodox Jews, reflecting their elders’ behavior, are the exception to his rule, deeply committed to their religion and the Jewish state.
I must respond to the assertion that Pope Pius XII did what he could to save European Jewry (Letters, Nov. 25). This is an attempt to airbrush history.
The fact is that the Catholic Church was the one institution that could have prevented the mass deportation and extermination of European Jewry. It is admitted that some national churches, i.e. the Church in Holland did what they could to protest deportation.
Your editorial, “Celebrating Women’s Advances,” (Nov. 22), correctly extols the accomplishments of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance in all areas, except for their inability to persuade the Orthodox rabbinate to apply existing halachic principles that would allow for a systemic solution to the agunah problem, the most egregious plight facing Orthodoxy today.
You state, “Perhaps if the rabbis thought of their daughters in that unfortunate place of the agunah, they would be spurred to act.”
Gary Rosenblatt’s column (“Romney Or Not, We Can Learn From The Mormons,” Nov. 25) offering a Jewish perspective on Mitt Romney’s candidacy in next year’s presidential election is eminently timely, but begs for attention to some serious issues concerning Mormonism’s possible impingement on the candidate’s suitability for the highest political office.
Here are three questions among others that warrant consideration:
Reading “Kosher Butchers Cutting Closer To The Bone” (Oct. 28) one would mistakenly conclude that only stores outside the kosher community offer savings.
My family has been in the kosher food business for half a century and offering, from day one, the best possible value. My father, Sam Brach, of blessed memory, considered making kosher food affordable his life’s mission.
We, the stores in the kosher community, take very seriously the responsibility to serve our people. We stock the full line of most of the brands we carry.
The Jewish Week’s call to “buy Israel” in the framework of “Buy Israel Week” (Editorial, Nov.11) is well intentioned, but misleading. Specifically, the “Buy Israel Week” campaign makes absolutely no distinction between Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. As a result, “Buy Israel Week” would have us buy from Tekoa, the settlement home of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, as quickly as we would buy from Tel Aviv.