August 23, 2019

Letters to the Editor: Shimon Peres, fame and mourning

Peres’ Impact on an Arab-Israeli

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Shimon Peres from the point of view of an Arab- Israeli, whose few moments with the holy leader changed his life forever (“The Singular Shimon Peres, Recounted by an Arab-Israeli,” Oct. 7).

This article beautifully portrays some of Peres’ best qualities, such as his humor, humility, kindness, progressiveness and work ethic — one could go on forever.

I think that when considering the many prejudices against Arabs in general, because this article was written by an Arab-Israeli and so clearly spells out the love that he has for Shimon Peres — identically to many other Jews — it might help to alleviate some of the animosity between Arabs and Jews. Hopefully, this inspirational article is a step in the right direction.

Bayla Dermer, North Hollywood

Orthodox Judaism and Homosexuality

The essence of Orthodox Judaism is adherence to the laws of the Torah as expounded upon by the Oral Law and the halachic decisors. By this criteria, homosexual activity as defined by halachah is forbidden. We must be unequivocal and clear in our beliefs and practices. The law of the Torah is correct, and we adhere to it.

I do agree with Rabbi Ari Segal in (“The Challenge of Our Time,” Sept. 30) that we should view with sympathy and understanding those individuals who wish to adhere to halachah but who are attracted to homosexuality.

I do feel the pain of individuals such as Micha Thau (“The Pledge,” Sept. 30), who struggle personally with their sexuality. I have no ready answers for them; only that they seek counsel from sages who are outstanding both in halachic knowledge and who are kind and compassionate.

But make no mistake about it. Whatever social pressure or changing mores of society may dictate, an Orthodox Jew must be willing to declare his or her adherence to, and acceptance of, halachah. It makes no difference if you preface the word Orthodox with “ultra” or “Modern,” there is one Torah for us all.

Rabbi Chaim Zev Citron, Ahavas Yisroel Synagogue

From One Person in Mourning to Another

I experienced so much of this (“Things Not to Say to Mourners (and Some Things You Can Do Instead)”, Oct. 7). It is comforting to know that I am not the only one. Thanks for this, Esther Kustanowitz; always a good reminder.

Lisa M. Solak via Facebook

Wait, That Sounds Like Donald Trump

Why that clever Dennis Prager (“So, You Want to Be Famous?” Sept. 30)! Without naming him directly, his seven descriptors of reasons why individuals pursue fame, is a right-on description of the Republican candidate for president … or did I misinterpret his intent? Just sayin’ …

Stu Bernstein, Santa Monica

A Marriage Meant to Be

Thanks for the hysterical (and poignant) article by Barbara Bottner (“ ’Til Death Do [One of Us] Part,” Sept. 30). With the exception of selling the horses, she could have been writing about my husband! And, I might add, I can’t figure out the new “smart” phone!

Sandra Kussin, Northridge


An article about Ken Levine’s play (“Baseball More Than a Game in ‘Going … Going … GONE!’ ” Sept. 30) misidentified the station for which the playwright hosted “Dodger Talk.” It was KABC. Also, a quote about character Oscar Madison in Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” should have referred to actor Jack Klugman in the television series.

Anti-Defamation League honoree Alan Wiener’s name was misspelled in a photo caption featured in Moving and Shaking (Sept. 30).