Editorial & Opinion

Don’t Forget Shalit


It is tragic that whiskey unites American Jewry more than the cries of Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit (“In The Israel Boycott War … New Shots,” July 8).

The boycott against distilleries in Scotland is a misled attempt to take a small (meaningless) stand against a much larger movement to delegitimize Israel.

Religion Is The Answer


Re “Chewing on Jewish Declines” (July 8), it is now with near regularity that I read articles in your newspaper bemoaning the disappearance of non-observant Jews and/or Jewish institutions, while noting the growth of the observant Modern Orthodox and haredi communities.

Shabbat Texting Study


The community is certainly indebted to Drs. Scott Goldberg and David Pelcovitz for supplying empirical evidence for the texting-on-Shabbat phenomenon (Letters, July 1). While at the end of the day, whether around a fifth of teenagers text on Shabbat (as the study suggests) or as many as half (as the newspaper article suggested), it is certainly a significant enough percentage to warrant serious consideration as to how to do deal with it.

Having said that, I believe that three caveats need to be added to the conclusions of the study:

Unfair Expectations


In the editorial on President Barack Obama’s relations with Israel (“How Obama Can Assure Israelis,” July 8), you go out of your way to paint what ought to be considered good qualities of our president as flaws, and make demands of him out of all proportion with the reality of his position, and those of Israel and the United States.

Alternative To Circumcision


I read with interest Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz’ Opinion “Circumcision Is Out of Vogue” (July 1) and the follow up letter by reader Jeffrey Kass (July 8). Both writers favor infant circumcision; there is no real dispute between them.

Great Article, Misleading Headline


Whoever titled Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz’ article, “Circumcision Is Out Of Vogue: An Orthodox Rabbi Agrees” (Opinion, July 1), has a lot to learn about truth in advertising.

Circumcision Not Out Of Vogue


It was hard for me to believe the title of the Opinion article by an Orthodox rabbi, Chaim Steinmetz: “Circumcision Is Out Of Vogue” (Opinion, July 1).

The statement that “circumcision is a marketing nightmare; outside of a deep commitment to Judaism, based on a biblical command, there’s no good reason to do it,” is outrageous. It is with much regret that there are many secular and misinformed Jews that are a very potent voice against circumcision, but to hear an Orthodox rabbi say this is really sinful and abhorrent.

Elijah Opens The Door To Love

Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 8:08 p.m.
Torah: Numbers 25:10-30:1

Our parsha begins with the reward that Pinchas receives for his zealotry. It is important to internalize Pinchas’ uniqueness and understand that the special covenant of peace that he received and the many miracles that helped him [Sanhedrin 82b] were given specifically to a person of his rare qualities.

Rabbi Yosef Carmel

L’Affaire DSK Teaches Some Attitudes Haven’t Changed

Special To The Jewish Week

Just when we thought we’d had enough sex-mania among high-powered men, we got hit this summer with the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal. John Edwards disappeared into legal limbo after admitting that he fathered a child outside his marriage. Anthony Weiner vanished into a rehab program after confessing that he had placed lewd photos of himself online. But L’affaire DSK, as the French call it, continues to make headlines.

Francine Klagsbrun

How Israel Unites Us

Special To The Jewish Week

I was leafing through the pages of several Jewish newspapers on my desk, and was struck that nearly every issue worth debating somehow revolved around Israel. Sure, there were other articles of interest, such as the Jewish-Korean family raising their children on “Kugel and Kimchi,” but none so interesting or heart-wrenching as whether J Street should be allowed into the local Jewish community relations council or whether the Israeli government should accept the parameters of President Obama’s recent State Department speech.

David Bernstein
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