September 23, 2019

Letters to the Editor: Torah Portion, Donald Trump

Please Put the Torah in Torah Portion

The well of Jewish wisdom is infinitely deep, and our people thirst for knowledge of our tradition. Would it be too much to ask that all of our learned rabbanim you invite to give us divrei Torah eschew personal experience and stick to the actual portion of the week with the commentaries of our sages?

Cantor Gary Shapiro, Congregation Beth Israel, Los Angeles

How Far Jews Have Come

I appreciated Danielle Berrin’s “Jewish Families in the White House” (Nov. 9) because it shows that by having a president who has a Jewish daughter, it shows how far the Jewish people have come. We were once in concentration camps, treated as less than everyone else; soon we’ll have a Jew in the first family. It shows how Jews are not less than the other nations. 

Elinor Massachi, Encino

What Trump’s Victory Means

Dear David Suissa: You and Rob Eshman don’t seem to get it. We elected Donald Trump to do precisely the things he said he’d do. We put him in specifically to deliver major change we so desperately need. So please, get over this idea of “WHEW! Thank goodness he didn’t really mean all that” and “What a relief, things will soon be back to normal.” I know you “progressives” love normalcy, and you’re the most stubbornly resistant to change. As such, you totally miss the purpose of this historic election. How very “conservative” of you.

Aric Zoe Leavitt via email

In his op-ed (“Trump’s Victory a Win for Traditional Jews,” Dec. 9), Rabbi Pini Dunner seems to celebrate the Trump election as a victory of “traditional values” over the “corrosive progressive agenda.” On the same page, there is a cartoon by Steve Greenberg in which our president-elect leads a team of early humanoids to destroy the forces trying to tone down hate, consumer rights, the environment, health coverage and public education.

Are these some of the “corrosive forces” that our “traditional values” must fight against?

I congratulate your editorial team for placing these two items on the same page.

Michael Telerant, Los Angeles

Dunner’s op-ed that Trump’s victory is a win for traditional Jews is bordering on delusion. Trump nominated a man to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who was suing the EPA and connected to the oil industry. Tell this traditional Jew how breathing polluted air and drinking foul water is good for us.

Rick Edelsein, Los Angeles

Like Dennis Prager (“Please Keep Calling Us Racists and Misogynists,” Nov. 16), I choose to believe that most of those who voted for Donald Trump are neither racists nor misogynists. But clearly a sizable and vocal minority are.

Emboldened by things said, and never repudiated by the president-elect and his supporters, they are spewing hate and threats more openly and frequently; harassing Muslim Americans, Latinos, African-Americans, Jews and women — online, on the streets and in schools. Sadly, I’m hearing firsthand accounts.

Mr. Prager, I trust that “they” are not part of the “us” you refer to in the headline on your piece. And per your recent contention that America is “the least racist country in recorded history,” you will expect the president-elect and his team, and all proud conservatives, to denounce such behavior unequivocally, specifically and consistently. 

As we enter a new chapter offering an even greater opportunity to see how conservative policies serve us as a nation, maybe there’s room for teshuvah across the spectrum.

Michael Zucker, Culver City

Reactions to Castro’s Death

Doesn’t Dennis Prager know that history is the only objective judge for historical events and people making those events (“A Question for Progressive Readers,” Dec. 9)? I was born and spent most of my life in a totalitarian regime, so I know better than most Americans what life in such a regime is like. All statements you quoted in your column from those leaders are opinions. All except the last one from President-elect Donald Trump are diplomatic because they are coming from leaders who are, above all, diplomats.

Now, to answer your question: I agree mostly with President Barack Obama’s statement being the closest to history’s right to be the best judge. “History will record and judge the … enormous impact … ” is a world-class leader’s statement.

Svetlozar Garmidolov, Los Angeles