Editorial & Opinion

Tragic Rescue


How many of us would risk our life to save another’s? Run into a burning building? Dive into a churning body of water? Fend off an armed thief?

Fortunately, few of us have to face such a test.

On a street corner in Rockland County, a 50-year-old father of four faced this test Sunday morning, hours after Hurricane Irene hit David Reichenberg’s Spring Valley neighborhood, knocking down branches and power lines, flooding roads.

Mr. Reichenberg passed his test.

And in doing so he lost his life.

Waiting For The Power To Come Back

Editor And Publisher

When the power went out in our house Sunday afternoon, I was able to e-mail a friend and neighbor (thanks to my trusty BlackBerry) to ask if he’d lost power, too. He wrote back to say yes, adding: “But Jews were powerless for 2,000 years, and we’re still here.”

Gary Rosenblatt

Charity As Obligation


The Midrash tells of Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi who went walking through the streets of Rome. There he saw the pillars of great buildings covered in tapestries so that they would not contract and split with variations of temperature. Along the same path he saw a poor man who was dressed in sackcloth. Rabbi Joshua noted the splendor with which buildings were covered and the poverty of people.

On Gay Synagogue


Congregation Beth Simchat Torah member Michael Levine was quoted as saying that he becomes overwhelmed with emotion when he carries one of the synagogue’s five Torah scrolls (“CBST Purchases First Home,” July 29).

The Torah does not call eating “treif” an abomination. The Torah does not call the desecration of Shabbat an abomination. The Torah does, however, call the homosexual act an abomination. Do the five Torah scrolls owned by CBST and carried by Levine omit that part of the Torah, or is that part just whited out?

Foolhardy Objective


Michael Galchensky’s Opinion essay, “Multiculturalism And The Lessons From Norway” (Aug. 5), was quite disturbing. His message that diversity and multiculturalism are noble objectives is foolhardy at best.

For the U.S. to continue to flourish, diversity and multiculturalism should ultimately be in the rear-view mirror and the last step in the new arrival’s American progression.

Diversity and multiculturalism tear at the fabric of America and should always be a temporary stop on the way to Americanization.

Hiroshima Exhibit


The exhibit on the aftermath of dropping of atomic bombs is deceiving about the alleged dearth of photographs (“The Days After,” Aug. 19).

My late father, Louis Geffen, then a judge advocate in the U.S. Army, arrived in Japan in November 1945. He was one of the early prosecutors of Japanese War Criminals. When he returned to the U.S. in March 1946, he brought back pictures of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after bombs were dropped.

BDS Movements, Close To Home


Morton Klein is mistaken when he says (Letters, July 29) that “we, in America … do not have to worry about these kinds of threats” — that is, the effort to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. The BDS movement has been very active on American college campuses for many years.

Reflecting On ‘Loss’


The Aug. 26 issue of Text/Context (“Loss”) was voraciously read as a needed experience to more deeply understand death, mourning,\ and remembering.

As an active Jewish community member, even leader, the occasions to share this inexorable phase of life beckons, alas, sometimes too frequently.

Will Miss Manhattan Judaica


I was saddened to learn of the closing of Manhattan Judaica (“Midtown Judaica To Close,” Aug. 12).
When going to Manhattan, I always looked forward to visiting this store to buy all kinds of religious items for my family. The store was like a museum, with all the unusual and interesting items available. I found the staff very knowledgeable and very helpful.

Keeping Tabs On The Candidates


Congratulations on running JTA’s “Perry Is Texas-Size Problem For Jewish GOPers” (Aug. 19).
I hope to see more articles assessing the candidates on their positions and records on issues relevant to the Jewish community. I emphasize that I mean this in the narrowest sense, as the mainstream media always will describe how candidates stand on the broader issues of health care, education and the environment. Only the Jewish media can fill the gap of knowledge on the narrowly Jewish issues.
Good job.

Needham, Mass.

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