September 18, 2019

Letters to the Editor: Trump, Friedman and Rabbi Krauss

Don’t Be Complacent

I just finished reading Rob Eshman’s column (“Chanukah, Trump and David Friedman,” Dec. 23). I should not have read it before going to sleep. Someone recently said the American melting pot is so successful that American Jews are disappearing. And I will add that misguided Jews like you and those who follow J Street are helping precipitate the process. To call J Street “Zionists” is the biggest oxymoron I could think of. 

You can proudly add yourself to the list of the “New Hellenists.”

Donald Trump won the election — get over it! 

The nightmare called “two-state solution” is history! Don’t you get it? The Arab Palestinians are aiming for a “one-state solution,” but you and the other misguided Jews are still asleep at the switch.

Liliana Leitman via email

The most vile, insidious anti-Semites on this planet are self-hating apostate Jews! Not the millions of Trump voters! Do you even know what a self-hating apostate Jew is? Our religion has survived through the ages in spite of these types and we will continue to survive in spite of their attempts to destroy us from within!

Joel Loeffelholz via email

The Dilemma of Agunot 

Historically, rabbis have moved mountains to help women who are agunot. More than once, I have informed a recalcitrant husband of my intention to publically protest at his place of employment — something that works time and again. The assertions by Daniel Berrin (“Rabbi Krauss’ Crusade,” Dec. 23) that the hesitancy of rabbis to break millennia of Jewish legal precedent is about “preserving power” is false and libelous. 

Rabbis struggle within the context of Jewish legal tradition to find every way to help agunot. The resistance of rabbinical courts to entertain some ideas that have weak (if no) legal precedent is not an effort to retain power. It’s the belief that the Jewish legal system — halachah — is part divine system reaching back to Mount Sinai. Within the context of that tradition, rabbis look for legal options to help women based on compassion. We must be cognizant of the fact that their unwillingness to break thousands of years of Jewish legal precedent can cause deep internal anguish. Rabbis are torn between their deep beliefs and the fate of women.

We need rabbis of courageous compassion working in the context of halachah to help women. Their resistance to change Jewish law must be seen as a reflection of religious conviction — not the quest for control.

Rabbi David Eliezrie, President Rabbinical Council of Orange County North County Chabad Center

Trump and the Future

Rabbi Pini Dunner’s op-ed (“Trump’s Victory a Win for Traditional Jews,” Dec. 9) raises the question: Exactly which traditional Jewish values are promoted by Donald Trump’s victory? 

The question seems to go unanswered. Using broad brushstrokes, he maligns the “deeply entrenched political establishment” as being inherently bad. Yet historically, what has made our democracy work, albeit not perfectly, has been the give and take among people with differing beliefs and priorities. Judging by the people Trump has selected to be the decision-makers for the next four to eight years, one wonders whether our government will become nothing more than a playground for the rich, leaving the rest of Americans to fend for themselves. Above all other character traits, Avraham Avinu was known for his chesed (kindness), a core Jewish value, which appears to be the antithesis of the values of our incoming president and those in league with him. 

Furthermore, if by the term “progressive left” (again, undefined) Dunner refers to those who advocate on behalf of minorities, he might do well to remember that we Jews are among them, and that but for our egalitarian American ideals, our voices might well be silenced.

Bruce Friedman, Los Angeles

My wife and I have been married for 65 years and have subscribed to the Jewish Journal for years. 

I always thought that you were too leftist. Opinions are OK, but not the way you express them. I was born in New York City and was a liberal Democrat until I grew up and got fed up. 

Rob Eshman’s column (“After Trump?” Dec. 2) was insulting! He won the election — he worked hard, three to five campaign stops a day! Hillary Clinton just collected the money and continued her bad, lazy campaign. I had followed her since the Bill Clinton years and did hope she would be the first woman president. You should have pointed out her failure and not knocked Trump.

I am 88 years old and will not live to see the outcome, but I hope for my children and great-grandchildren that Trump will succeed despite all your uncontrolled leftist attacks. I am sorry I will not be around to cheer the creation of the correct United States of America.

Grow up.

Sheldon L. Schein via email