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December 25, 2009

Lieberman’s Health Stance Isn’t Apostasy

One can legitimately disagree with the position of Senator Joseph Lieberman, who opposes President Obama’s health care plan as it currently is presented. However, for Rabbi Ron Fish to question Senator Lieberman’s conscience and commitment to religious values is insulting — and takes away from any serious argument that he makes against the senator’s stance on health care (“A Senator at Odds With His Constituents — And, Some Say, His Faith,” December 18).

Lieberman has been a much-needed voice of morality in the Senate for more than 20 years, while personally staying faithful to an Orthodox life. Most of his Jewish constituents appreciate his unwavering support of Israel and his commitment to independent thinking. Those who may have honest disagreement with him on health care should never make it a religious issue.

Shame on you, Rabbi Fish!

Michael Feldstein
Stamford, Conn.

Sorry, but I don’t buy the logic of your editorial’s criticism of Senator Joseph Lieberman (“The Public Obligation,” December 18).

He didn’t run away from the moral imperative to insure the uninsured or to provide health care to those who don’t have it. The debate was over whether it makes sense to solve the problem by creating “Medicare for all” when Medicare is beginning to show severe financial cracks or, instead, to find another way to solve the problem.

That the solution lies in a single-payer system or some equivalent public methodology may be of theologically certain dimensions to some, but it is not so to others. To suggest that one has become estranged from honesty, personal strength or one’s religious bearings because one differs on how to provide health care for all is, to say the least, a little Ayatollah-ish, wouldn’t you say?

Ary Freilich
Englewood, N.J.

The author is Senator Joe Lieberman’s brother-in-law.

Missing the Ugly Reality of Boxing

Regarding your December 18 article “A Lover of Boxing Copes With a Hero’s Loss,” I would like to note that the goal of boxing is to beat your opponent senseless. The sport has resulted in death and disability throughout its history.

It’s new popularity among women, favorable treatment in the press and Matisyahu’s endorsement through song makes certain that the number of victims of this vicious sport will increase.

Shame on the Forward for its uncritical reporting.

Irwin H. Rosenthal
Woodstock, N.Y.

Family Foibles Aren’t Marc Mezvinsky’s Fault

We are amazed and offended by your utterly tasteless and unnecessary discussion of the sins and foibles of the Mezvinsky family in your December 11 edition (“Chelsea Clinton Will Join Diverse Mezvinsky Clan”).

Regardless of what Marc Mezvinsky’s family may or may not have done, there is no reason whatsoever to drag it up in connection with his having become engaged to marry Chelsea Clinton.

Max G. and Judith P. Bernhardt
Silver Spring, Md.

Today’s Vanguard

Week after week, Leonard Fein demonizes the settlers of this generation, and now he waxes nostalgic about his youthful dreams of settling the Land of Israel (“When We Were the Vanguard,” December 4).

“Arise and build,” he writes, extolling this sentiment when it inspired him, but denying it to Jews who want to act on those sentiments in Judea and Samaria, the biblical patrimony of the Jewish people.

Exactly when did the idealistic pioneers reclaiming the ancient homeland become politically incorrect to Fein? These chalutzim, who have gone up to the Land of Israel, who arose and built — 300,000-strong — are today’s Zionist vanguard.

Larry S. Pollak
Columbus, Ohio

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