December 12, 2018

Letters to the editor: Israel, preserving Auschwitz, showing love to the elderly and more

The Ways We Slice It

Thank you for presenting a fascinating theoretical debate on calling Israel the “Jewish state.”

Secretary of State John Kerry proclaims the “Jewish state” issue makes negotiation so much more complicated (“The Jewish State Problem Won’t Go Away,” March 21). With all due respect, it should be complicated. When surrounded by hostile neighbors, whose words and deeds for almost 70 years are clear that they want to eliminate you, it’s complicated.

Will you be having the same cover story debate on why your publication is simply not called “The Journal”? Of course not, because your stated mission is to “Connect. Inform. Inspire” a specific readership, aka Jewish Angelenos. The same is true of the Jewish State of Israel. It was created to have a specific mission; a national homeland and refuge for the Jewish people.

So let’s leave well enough alone.

Barry Weiss, Valley Village

Auschwitz Preservation Not a Bidding  War

After reading Danielle Berrin’s article “Dignity at Auschwitz” (March 21), I was left asking a question. Why was (and is) the preservation of Auschwitz left to the international community? While I appreciate the world effort and generosity to fulfill the need for its preservation, this should not have been reduced to the whims and fundraising efforts of the international world. Fundraising has its place. This is not one of them. To preserve the Jewish memory at Auschwitz is an undeniable responsibility. Those nations most culpable, namely Germany and Poland, should have been made to preserve this most monstrous and sanctified site as part of their everlasting war reparations to the Jewish people. Had this been the case, we would not be faced with this conversation 70 years later.

Arnold Alban, Northridge

A Double Standard

Dennis Prager is right (“Evil in God’s Name,” March 21). It is degrading to see an Orthodox or Charedi Jew who, in his daily prayer, shows his love, respect and fear of God, but, in civil court, is charged and convicted of fraud in his dealing with others in business, finance, taxes and other misdeeds. It is a double standard that should be avoided because it does not attract atheists, secularists, non-Jews and non-Orthodox Jews to the fold. 

Ken Lautman, Los Angeles

Cherish to the End

Thank you to Rabbi John Rosove for his article “When the Extreme Elderly Slip Away” (March 21). I have studied gerontology and have read many articles, papers and personal stories about caring for our eldest friends and family.

None of them touched my heart as much as Rabbi Rosove’s personal story; both beautifully sensitive and practical. Relationships among younger people require complex relationship skills but it takes so little to connect to our extreme elderly.

When my own mother was edging toward 96 with diminished mental capacity, she always lit up when I said, “I love you.” We couldn’t converse much, but I held her hand in mine, stroked her arm and held her close. She was so peace-filled; we needed nothing else. She is now gone, but when I look at my own hands I see hers. The irony: Hers always looked younger than mine! We can all learn from Rabbi Rosove’s story.

Leslie Aranoff-Hirschman, Tarzana

Treasured Synagogue’s History Lesson

Thank you, Edmon Rodman, for your historical article on Adat Ari El and Miriam Wise (“The Lions of Participation at Adat Ari El,” March 21). I spent my entire teenage life there in the ‘70s and was very active in all aspects of the congregation. I had a dear friendship with my colleague and teacher, Cantor Allan Michelson. The David Familian Chapel always had a warm, special feeling to it. I was there when Moshe Rothblum returned as assistant rabbi. It was indeed a special synagogue to me and helped shape my character and being. Thanks to everyone who is continuing the Adat Ari El tradition.

Cantor Ken Rothstein, Toluca Lake

Moved by Playground’s Accessibility

Thank you to Ryan Torok (“Moving and Shaking,” March 21) for attending the Grand Opening of Friendship Circle’s new handicap-accessible playground and sharing this trailblazing gift with the Los Angeles Jewish community. We are extremely grateful to all the donors who made this dream become a reality. Our children with special needs and their dedicated teen volunteers now have a new venue to create memories together. Jewish Journal readers, we invite you to call us to schedule a tour — it would be our pleasure to show you around “My Backyard”!

Gail Rollman via e-mail