November 18, 2019

Letters: Praise for Sukkot, Medical Principles, Public Schools Financial Solutions

Praise for Sukkot Edition
Stories by Kylie Ora Lobell (“The Work of Sukkot is Worth It,” Oct. 11), Paul Starr (“The Sukkah Challenge”) and Louis Keene (“Everything but the Dust: The Case for Sukkot”) made me smile. Just right for the season. As the Seven Dwarfs sang: “Whistle while you work …” Happiness is a commandment!
Enriqué Gascon, Westside Village

Inaccurate Analogy
Gregory Smith should equate the Jews in Israel with Native Americans and not with colonists (“Columbus Day Lives,” Oct. 11). It’s unnecessary to mention all the good things Israel has done. Make it clear that much the Jewish population in Israel now is the result of the “ethnic cleansing” by the Arab countries in North Africa and Middle East when Israel became a state.

They came as poor refugees with nothing and were integrated and assimilated into society. They were displaced like Native Americans. Those Jews had lived in the Arab world for many centuries since the Spanish Inquisition.

The Palestinians who were refugees at that time are still in camps in Arab countries after 70 years even though the Arabs had plenty of land and enough money to do the same for them.
Edward Gilbert, Studio City

Medical Principles
There is no need to create the 13 principles of medical ethics when there is already the Hippocratic Oath (circa 400 B.C.), the Osteopathic Oath and the declaration of Geneva, etc. (“13 Principles of Jewish Medical Ethics,” Oct. 11). It declares that doctors will “first do no harm,” respect the privacy of the patients, prevent disease when possible, apply the best scientific knowledge when treating patients, and asks that doctors should not be ashamed to say “I know not” etc. A vegetarian diet has NOT been proven to be healthier than a meat-based diet, alternative medicine is sometimes better than conventional medicine (I am a physician who heals back pain using osteopathic manipulation instead of the conventional spinal fusion surgery). Doctors have a right in this free country to become wealthy, sell products in their office, and to accept gifts.
Dr. Adam Silver, Los Angeles

Public Schools Financial Solutions
What can be done to relieve the financial shortfall faced by public schools would be to charge a one-time registration fee of $100 dollars per student for grammar school, middle school and high school. This should eliminate a tax solution or bond necessity.
Joseph B. D. Saraceno, Gardena

Challenges of Working Mothers
We’ve recently been told that “our society makes it extraordinarily tough to be a working mom, especially a new mom,” but blaming the difficulties of being a working mom on “our society” is a politically motivated manipulation of the reality that it is difficult to be in two places at once. (Roundtable discussion of pregnancy discrimination.)

For many women, being a working mother is not a choice. I recently attended a memorial service for a woman who raised four children at a time when there was no quality, affordable childcare. Her children rose up and called her blessed, in recognition of her heroism and integrity in responding to the unfairness that is often an inevitable part of life.
There have been a number of improvements in the difficult situations women faced because of their reproductive role, because we live in a country that genuinely tries to ameliorate the “unpleasantness” that flows from flawed human nature. Let’s acknowledge the efforts and successes of our society and balance the changes achieved against the knowledge that perfection is not possible. After all, Elizabeth Warren, despite being a mother, earned a law degree and was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Julia Lutch, Davis, Calif.