Letters


More Than an 'Urge'

Avi Shafran’s opinion piece, “Orthodoxy and Homosexuality” (February 24), obscures the relevant facts. He sets up a straw man by disingenuously asserting that we who disagree with him believe “that any human urge is inherently legitimate.”Read More


Perfidy

The revelation of pederasty within and its cover-up by the ultra-Orthodox community in Australia (“Child Sex-Abuse Scandal in Australia’s Jewish Community Spills Into U.S.,” February 24), is shocking but not surprising.Read More


Not Surprised

Lara Friedman is taken aback that her desire for peace found no match at the Arab League’s Conference on Jerusalem, manifest by rejection of any Jewish claim to that city (“Jerusalem Isn’t Just for Arabs, Either,” March 9).Read More


Cover Up

Regarding “The Allure of the Burka” in the February 3 edition of the Forward, it is male religious fanatics (Muslims, Orthodox Jews, etc.) who have problems with the way women dress or want to dress. Instead of forcing women to conform to men’s rules, why don’t these men just wear bags over their heads so the women can dress as they please?Read More


Returning to the Oral Tradition

Harvey Hames’ analysis of the role of Halacha in the State of Israel offers an important perspective on this complex historic-religious conundrum (When Democracy and Halacha Collide, February 17). There is, however, another critique of the rabbinic tradition that is overlooked in Hames’ op-ed. Halacha is, in effect, the offspring of an oral tradition, the Torah shebe’al pe. The designation of a so-called “Oral Torah” is not simply a technical matter regarding the method of transmission — oral vs. written. It is a profound appreciation of the organic nature of Torah, that Torah is an ongoing revelation deeply embedded within the life of the human community.Read More


Just Ignore Them

Since my granddaughter attends the University of California, Santa Cruz, I have been following and supporting the efforts of Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, including her recent Forward op-ed on February 17 (“Why I Filed Title VI Complaint”).Read More


Good Books

On behalf of PJ Library, a program dedicated to giving the gift of quality Jewish children’s literature to families across North America and doing so at a rate of 95,000 books each month, I would like to respond to Deborah Kolben’s Jan. 31 column. “Where Have All the Good Jewish Books for Kids Gone?”Read More


Giving Back

For nearly 40 years, the Jewish Communal Fund has been helping our donors achieve their philanthropic goals simply and efficiently.Read More


Successes, Too

As the Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton, Mass., I was certainly proud of the Lander Grinspoon Academy, our local K-6 day school, cited in a recent article as an exception to the trend of other Schechter-affiliated schools shrinking or closing (“What Does Schechter Decline Mean?” January 27).Read More


A Clear Problem

It’s disgraceful that Jewish college presidents are ambivalent about publicly condemning and combating campus anti-Semitism, or even acknowledging that this problem exists (“College Leaders Balance Israel and Speech,” January 20).Read More





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  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
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  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
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  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
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