Letters to the Editor: Mark Rosenblum, Homeless Sukkah, Vista Del Mar

More on the Crusader

Rob Eshman’s praise of Mark Rosenblum’s decades-long battle for a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle is well deserved (“The Crusader,” Aug. 23). I’ve worked with Mark for years, share his passion, if not his energy in working for the two-state solution and fearing for Israel in the years ahead if the two-state solution fails. Charting current birth rates, Jews could be a minority in an Israel with a Palestinian majority. And then what happens? Following Mark’s vision, we must keep trying because failure leads to a very bleak, troubled tomorrow.

Richard Gunther
Los Angeles

While some may find Mark Rosenblum’s steadfastness and refusal to quit Peace Now’s liberal agenda [admirable], others would characterize it as a refusal to give up a pipe dream with no basis in reality.

No matter how much Peace Now wants to join with the Palestinians and carve out a beautiful and peaceful Middle East, the simple fact is the Palestinians don’t have any interest in this kind of partnership with us — not even Peace Now’s beloved PA [Palestinian Authority], which celebrates the murderers of our children as conquering heroes and won’t allow for a single Jew to live in its state if it were ever so fortunate to gain one. 

Rob Eshman finishes his fawning of Rosenblum by stating that the Palestinians “will have to find a formula to accept Israel as a Jewish state.” If they have so much trouble with this basic idea, and they do, what hope could there possibly be for a real peace except in the minds of dreamers and those with delusions who refuse to admit they were wrong from the get-go?

Allan Kandel
Los Angeles

In the Time of Elul

Lovely, David Suissa (“Love in the Time of Elul,” Aug. 23). I believe your answer is a) Forgiveness and b) Community! In Micah we find the prayer “Mi El Kamocha.” Micah does not see God as a Creator, nor a King, but a Forgiver.

Afshine Emrani
via jewishjournal.com

A  Sign of the Times

I agree with the letter writer who pointed out that buying the homeless person’s sign will deprive them of their communication device until they can manage to find the materials to make another one (Letters, Aug. 23; “HomelessSukkah.com,” Aug. 16). In the meantime, they may have lost their opportunity to get other donations. I have an alternate suggestion.

Don’t take their sign, just give them the donation. But, if possible, ask to take their photograph with their sign. Then print the photos large, and write their first name on it (so that they are not merely anonymous) and put them inside your sukkah on the walls as ushpizin guests. At night in the Sukkah, you can tell the story of where you met them, and their name, and their story if you know it.

Miriam Lippel Blum
Tucson, Ariz.

What’s Special at Vista Del Mar

Thank you so much to the Jewish Journal for sharing Vista Del Mar’s Jewish programming for families with children with special needs with the community (“Welcoming Special-Needs Families at Vista Del Mar,” Aug. 23). I wanted to clarify that our Nes Gadol (Great Miracle) b’nai mitzvah and confirmation classes and our amazing new Sundays at Vista Judaica serve children of all abilities. Many of our students with autism and other special needs are highly verbal, while others are challenged in the area of spoken communication. Whatever the case, we cherish our students and strive to create avenues for them to share their gifts with the community and shine. Founded on the principles of Elaine Hall’s the Miracle Project, all of our students are joyfully celebrated and embraced by the Vista Del Mar community. 

Rabbi Jackie Redner
Rabbi in Residence, Vista Del Mar

Cuba’s Painful History

The heartfelt article by Isabel Kaplan is the story of hundreds of a younger generation of Cubans anxious to discover the origins of their identities (“Cuba: Land of My Bubbe,” July 26). Cuba was the home of their families, divided, destroyed and uprooted half a century ago. For somebody, like me, who left Havana so many decades ago, I deeply understand the need we all have to go back, some to learn where they come from, some to walk on the pages of our history. But it is not so easy. At least for me, and for many of my generation.

What was once a dream was turned into a nightmare; what was a republic was transformed into a totalitarian state; where religions flourished, the land was made an atheist state. To say that “even Fidel Castro has a soft spot for the Jews” is very naive. The man is a chameleon and will do and say anything in order to achieve his purposes.

Castro does not have a soft spot for Jews, or Catholics, or intellectuals, or gays. Castro, who destroyed a very prosperous nation (with all the imperfections that that implies), will do anything to stay in power. And now, at his very old age, because he needs outside help, all of the sudden he has become like a gentle grandfather. Don’t buy it.

Raul De Cardenas
Los Angeles, CA