September 22, 2019

Letters to the Editor: North Korea, Hitler Youth and hurricanes

More Than a War of Words With North Korea?

Am I the only person who sees Donald J. Trump as [Slim Pickens’ character] riding the bomb in “Doctor Strangelove”? Will he be riding the bomb into North Korea?

Judith Ornstein Kollman, Sherman Oaks

Content of Some Sermons Isn’t Surprising

The truism is that rabbis in branches of Judaism known for three-days-a-year followers would sermonize on leftist politics and remind their parishioners that liberalism and politically correct social constructs are (the only?) holy sacraments in their religion. Your story on mostly leftist clergy supports that thesis (“Some Holiday Sermons Become Words to Live By,” Sept. 21). 

So why go to temple rather than to an ACLU policy conference?

S.Z. Newman, Los Angeles

The Brainwashing of a Hitler Youth

Your story about Ursula Martens sparked my interest (“A Soul-Crushing Debt,” Aug. 11). I read it with great understanding for a child, who had only the brainwashing of a sick society while growing up. She did not have the opportunity to question or learn that all humans are the same.

I am a child of a Holocaust survivor from Poland. As an adult, I have always been very interested in the feelings of German perpetrators of war crimes upon the Jewish people. Not much has been written by them about their hate, greed, jealousy or fear while executing their deeds.

I know and understand how these emotions block the feelings of people who are not taught to love or think independently. However, I still do not understand how most of the nation could be so apathetic in the early stages of brainwashing to not react en masse.

I am now very disturbed by what is happening in our great nation in respect to hate and hate crimes. Can it be that the discrepancy between the haves and have nots is getting more prevalent all over the world, as it was in Germany in 1934? At least in the United States we can still complain and get awareness, but once that is gone, history will repeat itself once more!

Thank you for a good story that expressed growth and learning.

Vicky Engel Hartman, Chatsworth

Hey, Rob, Please Take Marty With You

Goodbye and good riddance to Jewish Journal Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Rob Eshman. Sick of reading the leftist slant for a Jewish newspaper. Too much junk about President Donald Trump, while the economy has been excellent, thanks to him. Nothing good said about Trump’s excellent “Make America Great Again” policies that have already made us the best this country has ever been. By the way, Rob, when you leave the Journal, please take Marty Kaplan with you.

Robert Clark via email

Deep Meaning in This View of the Universe

I just read Marty Kaplan’s column (“Holy Hurricane,” Sept. 15). 

The second-to-last paragraph contained this thought: “ … I don’t experience the universe as arbitrary and meaningless; I experience awe at the mystery of existence, and gratitude for its wonders.” 

I found much meaning in Kaplan’s thought; the awesomeness of a precise universe that inspires thankful appreciation. There’s a scriptural rhythm to those words. 

Kathy Amato via email

The Professor and the Roots of Shalhevet

In your ad “Jewish Contributions to Humanity #57” ad (Sept. 8), you featured professor Lawrence Kohlberg, which made me reminisce that if it weren’t for this giant in moral education, there would be no Shalhevet High School today.

After seeing the aftermath of the Holocaust, Kohlberg focused his life on developing a more moral and ethical human being, so that Nazi Germany would never happen again. While lecturing in Israel, he spent time on a kibbutz. There, he adopted methodology of how the kibbutz developed rules and its members abided by them.

Philosophers, psychologists and educators came from all over the world to seek his advice and discuss his theory. So did I. He became my mentor, adviser and friend and had a profound impact on my adult life. He inspired me to be a change agent in Jewish education and use his moral principles to start Shalhevet High School in 1992. For that, I will be forever grateful to his contribution to humanity.

Jerry Friedman, Founder, Shalhevet High School via email