People like to say that living in New York transforms us into creatures who are cut from the toughest cloth, but I have Israel to thank for my most fortifying experiences. I’ve lived and worked there during a time of war, have felt and seen rockets explode overhead, have hiked through miles of hidden villages and have gotten thoroughly lost in the crevices of her old cities. The most transformative night I’ve had in the country, however, happened not at the Kotel or Masada, but on a still December evening in an unassuming village near Dimona.
Following Rabbi Gerald Skolnik’s advice [in his Jewish Week blog] would mean Netanyahu should never speak to Congress, because speaking to Congress is lobbying for something. If you agree that the president is being too lenient/naive (as even the EU opines) with Iran developing the bomb, then stopping a bad deal is necessary and the only routes are lobbying or taking independent, perhaps military, action.
I prefer lobbying as a first option.
The image of a man set on fire is haunting. The fact that ISIS’ brutal act of burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot, a fellow Muslim, was performed in the name of God makes it even worse. If this is not a call to moderate and peace loving Muslims to join the battle against ISIS and radical Islam, then I don’t know what is.
While one has to have a great deal of sympathy for Ms. Bobs-Waksberg (“On Campus, An Assault On The Status Quo,” Feb. 6), one has to believe that the abuse of drugs and alcohol has an awful lot to deal with the situation that created date rape [or other forms of sexual assault]. Often both parties are so high or intoxicated that making out a case of non-consensual sex is impossible.
Andrew Fretwell misrepresents the position of Mordecai Kaplan on mixed marriage in his online op-ed piece, “Intermarriage, Sledding And That Big, Scary Tree” (posted online). In 1956, Kaplan wrote as follows in “Questions Jews Ask”:
Kudos to Lehman Weichselbaum and The Jewish Week for the article about Clayton Patterson (“Lower Insider,” Feb. 6). We have known each other for more than 30 years and I’ve always considered him an honorary Jew. Your article reminds me that I wanted to buy two more sets of his three-volume anthology of “Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side.” Before I could finish the 1,349 page opus, my brother-in-law borrowed the three tomes from me and it is now slowly making the rounds in my family. I had also promised the rabbi of my neighborhood synagogue that I was going to donate a set to the Adereth El library. Thanks for the reminder.
Martin Gilbert, who recently died, completed the official biography of Winston Churchill and wrote many other books on Jewish, general and British history. But he was also an extraordinary mensch. I experienced his kindness myself.