Marlene Adler Marks is dead wrong. Monica Lewinskyis not the”every daughter” she proposes (“The Daughter,” Jan. 30). Monica’sfamily, mercifully is nothing like our own. The “undigested horrorsof the 20th century” have nothing to do with it.

Wretched excess, greed, and insatiable appetiteswere more likely what was played out at that dinner table. There arefar too many of us Holocaust survivors and children of survivors whohave gone forth and raised honorable decent offspring for thatridiculous claim of victimhood to be made yet again. It is an insultwith its insinuation that we are all helplessly caught in theunresolved histories of our fathers.

And just what is the “Shine” syndrome? More poppsychology? A clever hook on which to hang rather than understand aman’s complicated malady? Shall we also have to forgive Bill Clintonbecause of his own family’s constant uprootings?

Please, I look to The Jewish Journal forrelevance, reasonable views and intelligent discourse. MonicaLewinsky was not a Jewish issue, but now it is being made into one,and frankly, I’m disappointed that it should happen within yourpages.

Josie Levy Martin

Los Angeles



The Jewish Journal ought to be distinguished byits difference, not demeaned by its similarity. The Jewish communitydoes not need The Journal to offer snide references to”Zippergate,”or, more egregiously, to relate the content of theLewinskys’ divorce proceedings. For such “reporting,” we already havetoo many outlets.

Finally, to spin such feeble threads intospeculation as to the Holocaust’s impact on this sad incident, isboth uncharitable and unworthy. Does the “Jewish” in Jewish Journalmerely point to an ethnic affiliation, or are Jewish values somehowencompassed by that name?

The Journal was not going to scoop its competitionon a story that all of America was covering. Imagine how it mighthave been ennobled by reporting with humility on all we do not know,or at least with compassion on a tragedy that is painfully enmeshingmembers of our community.

Rabbi David Wolpe

Sinai Temple

Los Angeles


When I received your last issue, I thought for amoment that The Journal had been sold to a sex tabloid. Then as Ileafed through it and saw the amount of space you had devoted tol’affaire Lewinsky, I was shocked, disappointed, and then angry that youwould have joined in this cacophony of rumor, speculation andspecious gossip.

Although I have not always agreed with her, I haveadmired Ms. Adler Marks as a responsible columnist but certainly notwhen she throws in the “ethnic card” by putting on the tableLewinsky’s purported Jewishness as a connection which has not beenspotlighted.

And then to have your editorial criticize the LosAngeles Jewish community for treating her Jewishness as “only anincidental sidebar” is not only irresponsible but also ridiculous.With all the problems we Jews have, who needs that connection in thespotlight. Get real! I’m sure that many an anti-Semite thought of itbefore you did.

The Middle East may erupt momentarily, Israel isin mortal danger, the president makes an important and meaty State ofthe Union address, we will have a balanced budget and a surplus forthe first time in many years while countless thousands are homeless,and you choose to devote page after page of valuable space to thistitillation.

The ponderous, pontifically pompous Ted Koppeldevotes a program to whether oral sex is adultery. CBS starts itshourly news with “The White House in Crisis” and one after the otherjoins in the repetition and competition to see who can get thelargest audience. And now the distinguished Rabbi Elliot Dorff getsinto the fray with a scholarly discussion of the wisdom of our sagesabout whether or not penis penetration is necessary to constituteadultery.

I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

S. Dell Scott



Congratulations! You have finally recognized howto stimulate reader interest and at the same time improvecirculation: More sleaze.

The one thing I have wanted to learn: at whichTemple are Monica’s parents members. Pages and pages, articles andeditorial, all I ever wanted to learn about Monica andJewishness.

Can I hope that next week you will follow up witha feature article on Judaica and oral sex?

Julian Omerberg

Sherman Oaks


With apologies to Gene Lichtenstein and MarleneMarks, The New York Times attitude of “so what?” seems to me the mostappropriate response to the Jewishness of Ms. Lewinsky, whosephotograph , glared at us all week.

I was appalled to see it also on the cover of TheJewish Journal. Sorry, Marlene, but I not only take strong exceptionto your armchair analyzing — based on a movie! — as a way ofprobing the dynamics of a family you know little about, but also toyour assumption of a “we.” I and many other single and marriedmothers do not raise our daughters to worship power, “vamp forDaddy,” etc. We raise them to have personal dignity; act withintegrity; take themselves seriously as women, Jews, and people;value their bodies as well as their minds and souls, and respectearned authority while remaining healthily skeptical of merepower.

If Ms. Lewinsky actually made half the statementsattributed to her, it is her own vulgarity and her media-made grossnotoriety that are most pitiable. She and her family scarcely needwhat amounted to little more than gossip-mongering on the part of TheJournal to exacerbate one of the more prurient and repellent episodesin recent American culture. Shame on you.

Miriyam Glazer

Santa Monica


I am glad that The New York Times did not mentionthat Monica Lewinsky was Jewish. She is a disgrace to our religion.Please do not try to portray this young woman as a victim. She wentto Washington with a plan, and succeeded in bringing disgrace uponherself. The Jewish community should not stand behind her. We owe hernothing. I am ashamed that she was born Jewish.

How dare you mention Fred Goldman and this womanin the same breath! Fred and his family were innocent victims in atragic affair. Lewinsky brought all her troubles upon herself.

As for Marlene Adler Marks: Please spare us the”victim” alibi. Many of us came from families with parents who foughtand/or divorced. That didn’t give us the right to behaveinappropriately.

Fern Reisner

Los Angeles

Monica and Israel

I was astounded to read that some right-wingJewish circles speculate with satisfaction that the Lewinsky scandalimpaired Clinton’s ability to constrain Netanyahu during the latter’svisit here (“Saved by the Belle,” Jan. 30). If this is really theprevailing right-wing Jewish viewpoint, it may bedisastrous fortheir own interests.

Impairing Clinton’s ability to constrain Netanyahualso impairs Clinton’s ability to constrain Saddam Hussein.Right-wing Jewish folk willing to risk a less-constrained Saddam inorder to get a less-constrained Netanyahu should recognize that onegoes along with the other.

I am reminded of the case of Rabbi Kupersztoch ofPoland. The rabbi was enraged when some young men of his flock wereexecuted by the czar for trying to avoid conscription.

Years later, during World War I, the rabbi tookhis revenge by tipping off the German high command about Russiantroop placements, leading to a major German victory. The rabbi andhis flock moved to Germany under German sponsorship, and was laterprotected against Nazi excesses by the German military.

When the rabbi died in 1940, his flock was nolonger protected and was subsequently sent to various camps. Sosometimes a leader can grasp for immediate advantage, at the cost ofthe long-term viability of a larger group that includes hisown.

This seems to be the case for those Jewish leaderswho take satisfaction in seeing Clinton undermined because theybelieve some uncertain short-term advantage will be gained. Those whofollow such leaders may be badly misled.

Larry Selk

Los Angeles


THE JEWISH JOURNAL welcomes letters from allreaders. Letters should be no more than 250 words and we reserve theright to edit for space. All letters must include a signature, validaddress and phone number. Pseudonyms and initials will not be used,but names will be withheld on request. Unsolicited manuscripts andother materials should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope inorder to be returned.Publisher, Stanley Hirsh

THE JEWISH JOURNAL welcomes letters from allreaders. Letters should be no more than 250 words and we reserve theright to edit for space. All letters must include a signature, validaddress and phone number. Pseudonyms and initials will not be used,but names will be withheld on request. Unsolicited manuscripts andother materials should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope inorder to be returned.Publisher, Stanley Hirsh

Editor-in chief,Gene Lichtenstein

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Calendar and copy editor, William Yelles

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Senior Columnist, Marlene Adler Marks

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Contributing writers, James David Besser (Washington), Larry Derfner (Tel Aviv),Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Linda Feldman, Beverly Gray, Joel Kotkin, RabbiSteven Leder, Yehuda Lev, Deborah Berger-Reiss, Eric Silver(Jerusalem), Teresa Strasser

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