What are we to make of the latest events in Libya, where the feared and hated despot Muammar al-Qaddafi appears to be at the end of his long reign? Will the revolution there lead to unity and democracy or tribal warfare and chaos? And how will Qaddafi’s fate impact on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, whose continued defiance in spite of calls for his ouster is sure to garner even more attention now as the international spotlight turns to him?
You cannot understand a landscape, Claude Levi Strauss famously wrote in “Tristes Tropiques,” unless you know what lies beneath the surface. Deep structures explain the features we can see. Similarly, casual readers of the Bible cannot grasp its meaning unless they know the deep structure.
I applaud Ben Sales’ article, (“Young Russian Jews In Assimilation Bind,” Aug. 2) for pinpointing the distinctive impact of the young Russian Jewish community on Israel advocacy. Though this generation did not grow up in the former Soviet Union, young Russian Jews are raised in households filled with memories of anti-Jewish discrimination, which led to their deep support for Israel. Young Russian Jews’ unique perspective means that though they may integrate into the American Jewish community, they also have the capacity to change it.
In response to Jerome Chanes’ article, “What Caused The Crown Heights Riots?” (Aug. 12), the riots were about black anti-Semitism, exploited and encouraged by racial arsonists like Rev. Al Sharpton. The irony is that Rev. Sharpton is now an important member of the Democratic party, whose candidates must seek his approval and blessing when running for public office. Liberal Jewish Democrats embrace him warmly.
I do not understand why The Jewish Week provides exposure to Rev. Al Sharpton (“Sharpton To Discuss Crown Heights On Hamptons Panel,” Aug. 19), who fomented the anti-Semitic 1991 Crown Heights riots (with references to “apartheid,” Jewish residents as “diamond merchants” and “no justice, no peace”).
Healing racial tensions between the black and Jewish communities of Crown Heights is imperative for the two groups to co-exist. No one disputes that. In fact, after the 1991 Crown Heights riots the Lubavitcher rebbe, in looking toward the future, told Mayor David Dinkins that the black and Jewish communities are “one side, one people, living in one city.”
With that said, there is no basis to equate the Jewish community’s
The news of how Shomrim societies operate (“Tragedy In Borough Park Puts Shomrim Under Scrutiny,” July 22) is shocking. It is tragic that these societies and the communities in which they are based seem to be more concerned with rabbinic laws about mesirah (informing on a Jew) than the biblical laws such as pikuach nefesh (saving a life). They are, of course, also transgressing the civil laws for reporting sexual abuse.
Reporting the truth about horrible deeds is not an attack on a religious sect (“Is It ‘Anti-Orthodox’ To Seek A Safer Community?” Editor’s Column, Aug. 5) It is a means of protecting current and potential victims. My choice is always enlightenment.
Honest reporting is a means to maintaining the integrity of a newspaper.
Regarding your reporting on the Shomrim, and subsequent responses, it is clear that Orthodox Jews were uniformly offended by your article while secular Jews took pleasure in reading negative stories about the chasidic community. This does not surprise me — we are no longer one people but two parties: The Orthodox are the Republicans, and the secular Jews are the Democrats.