Backward: From Our Readers

Published March 04, 2009, issue of March 13, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Thank You, Backward!

Dear Backward,

Thank you so much for your insightful, independent and comprehensive coverage of all things Jewish. It’s really nice to have a critical look at the community for once. I look forward to my weekends when I can kick back, relax and read my paper just the way my grandfather used to. Now that you print it on Thursday instead of Friday, it always gets delivered in time, too. Keep up the good work!

David Duke
Mandeville, La.

Messiah on the Way

Dear Backward,

You are doing your readers a disservice by failing to cover the most important Jewish news story, namely, the Messiah is coming. It’s me, and I am! Any minute. Actually, I was supposed to arrive last week, but my flight was canceled. (O’Hare — what a nightmare!) And then I had to take care of a few things around the house, and now it’s tax season, but honestly, I just need to clear up a couple things and I’ll be there. Promise.

The Messiah
Kenosha, Wis.

P.S. I have excellent PR photos for you. Where should I send them?

Dying Schmying

Dear Backward,

I take deep offense at the parochial nature of your recent series “Yiddish Still Dying,” (January 30, February 6, February 13). Dwindling language clubs? A rapidly aging population of native speakers? A declining circulation for Yiddish newspapers? You call that dying?

Ladino has been dying in more agony and for longer than Yiddish. And it’s dying more completely — why don’t you write about that? We dream of having declining Judaeo-Spanish language clubs and micro-niche Djudezmo newspapers. We break into uncontrollable fits of joy when we even think we hear a Ladino word spoken on the subway (although it usually turns out to be someone clearing their throat).

The idea of having whole areas of native speakers makes us long for the colorful shop fronts of Salonika.

Unfortunately, though, it is quite easy to fit all the surviving native Ladino speakers into one beautifully crafted Ottoman armoire and still have space for a delicately embroidered robe.

The only reason you aren’t writing your sentimental pieces about the death of Ladino is because there’s no well-funded Ladino lobby to tell you to write about it.

Stop wasting your time on those Yiddish whiners and run a serious piece on a properly extinct language.


Roberto DaCosta
Kuzguncuk Jewish Cemetery
Istanbul, Turkey

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.