September 23, 2019


Regarding “Forgiving and Pardoning Jonathan Pollard” (Oct. 3):Irving Greenberg puts forth far too many reasons to release Pollardand not one real reason to keep him incarcerated.

I say that the traitor should be expelled from our countryand let him seek his sanctuary wherever he can find it. And goodriddance!

Jerry Rabinowitz


Rabble-rousing Rabbis

I have tried to write this very carefully, so that I do not causeembarrassment for any particular rabbi or group of Jews. Since manyare guilty, you may have to ask yourself if the shoe fits in order tofigure out if I am talking about you.

Your congregations trust you. They look at you as the role modelsto whom they have come for guidance and spiritual uplifting. You givegreat speeches about being careful not to harm others with carelesstalk, and you teach us to be all inclusive and kind to one another.So tell us, Rabbi, why are you rabble-rousing?

If you are Reform, have you recently told your congregation not tosupport Orthodox charities because you do not feel that your sectgets enough respect from the Orthodox leadership? If you areOrthodox, have you recently told your congregations that yours is theonly correct way to bring up children, and that the other movementsare incompetent? If you are Conservative, are you creating anatmosphere of anger and resentment toward the Orthodox because youdon’t like their brand of rules?

Please rabbis, help us stop this inflammatory divisiveness. Findanother way to inspire us. You are creating discomfort among us. Youare pushing us away and apart. Where shall we now go, if so many ofour rabbis are dishonoring the rules of lashon hara?Particularly during the High Holidays, how unbelievable! Can’t youfind other ways to make your political points? Does it have to belike this?

As this new year envelopes us, I pray that you will rethink yourown speeches, and omit the lashon hara. Help us get along, help us betolerant, even if you need to protect your own group and/or your ownpolitics. Please think more clearly about what you are doing to yourcongregations and to the Jewish community at-large.

Who am I to question how the rabbis are utilizing their pulpits? Iam a Jew like many other Jews, who is connected to friends within allsects of Judaism, and I believe we can be far less bitter in order toaccomplish goals. I still believe in our unity, throughconsideration.

May Los Angeles rise above all of the self-protective group(within a group) behavior, and find healthier ways to impact itsJewish community. I am sorry if I have offended you, and even sorrierif I have not found the right words to motivate you to think moreholistically, before you speak.

Name Withheld By Request

Hurtful Attacks

I am not as learned or pious as Rabbi David Eliezrie. But stilleven I was surprised to read his Rosh Hashana column ridiculingReform rabbis for speaking during the High Holy Days about attacks onthe authenticity of Reform Judaism (“It’s Time to Talk,” Oct. 3). Myrabbi addressed these attacks, but used her sermon to encouragecontinued support for Israel and reconciliation with those Orthodoxwilling to engage in a dialogue with other Jews. It was asoul-searching message about how to respond to slander and wastotally in keeping with the spirit of the holidays.

I welcomed her sermon because it addressed a subject that hascaused me much heartache. It has been painful to hear supposedlylearned and pious men make statements that imply that my father’sfuneral was not Jewish because my rabbi is Reform. Eliezrie’s cynicalsuggestion that Reform rabbis discuss these attacks only to garnerdonations evidences utter indifference to the wounds that have beeninflicted by his religious allies.

I was surprised because I assumed that during the High Holy Days,Rabbi Eliezrie would have reflected on the appropriateness of his ownactions rather than exploit the occasion as an opportunity to renewhurtful attacks on others.

Victor Gold

Los Angeles

Mendel and Moses

Regarding the on-going “Mendel and Moses” Hebrew-Christianmissionary controversy (Sept. 5): The Journal should always be opento reviewing any work that it deems as being of interest orimportance to the Jewish community, regardless of the religiousaffiliation of the author or artist. I agree with Mr. Lichtenstein’seditorial policy on that point. And I’m sure that we’re in agreementtoo that the “wolves” have as much right to live in this world as the”sheep.”

But Lichtenstein and the Journal should know as well as anyonethat a wolf in sheep’s clothing is not only the most dangerous kindof wolf, it’s the most dangerous kind of sheep.

Art Verity

Van Nuys

A Welcome Visitor

Not only does Rabbi Edward Tennenbaum attend to his Temple BethZion (“A Lot of Life Left,” Aug. 8), but I had the honor of havinghim pay a “sick call” visit to me. I was out of ICU, from anear-fatal heart attack and transferred to another room at St.Vincent Hospital when this kind gentleman appeared. We spoke togetherand it made me feel so good to see “one of ours” come and visit asick patient.

It was a wonderful feeling when he made a get-well prayer at mybedside.

Thank you Rabbi Tennenbaum, and may you continue your work andvisits to the sick.

Ruth B. Levine

Los Angeles

Tower of Flowers

I read your article about Bernie and Eddie Massey’s Project 9865(“Flower Tower,” Sept. 12). I would like to congratulate you on anexcellent and complete article. It takes an intelligent person withvision and sensitivity to bring out the fantastic humanitarian workthat the Massey brothers have been expressing and doing for at least10 years. They are young Jewish men committed to our society andshould be an inspiration to young and old.

Carmen de la O.

West Los Angeles

Thank You

Every Friday I receive your Jewish Journal. I not only lookforward to receiving it, but I thoroughly enjoy all the columns,articles and even the ads.

For all of these reasons, I feel it’s about time I said a big”Thank you.”

Keep it coming!

Jack Flamer


Volunteer for Israel

I recently volunteered for two weeks in the Israeli Defense Forcesand found the experience very meaningful. I had volunteered twicebefore and was volunteering again, hoping for new adventures and tomeet other people who also value adventure. I had hoped that notkeeping a leisurely travel schedule would inspire me to be moredisciplined in the goals I had for myself, namely to pray regularlyand improve my Hebrew.

I interacted with soldiers and non-commissioned officers andenjoyed people-watching. I was able to learn about the army and itsculture and tour military installations not open to the public.

Each workday we traveled by bus 30 minutes down a mountain, acrossthe Arik bridge on the Jordan River and to the base, where we builtfortifications — essential and highly specialized work — for thecountry.

I saved a bullet, which I found at the Syrian border where wewalked through underground trenches, climbed up in a tower and lookedthrough a telescope at a village on the other side of the border. Wesaw minefields and a special sand along the side of the road thattells the soldiers instantly if anything has crossed. We were in theGolan Heights and saw how natural formations of extinct volcanoes areused to defend the border. On a later date, we had a tour andexplanation of the “good fence,” Israel’s border with Lebanon, whereLebanese enter to work in Israel.

We enjoyed Israeli hospitality — from the commander of the basewhere we lived, the commander in each place where we worked and ourmadrechot, the women soldiers who were our leaders in theSar-El (Volunteers for Israel) Program. The madrechot were with us aspart of their army service. We had festive meals prepared for us andwere treated well by the soldiers.

But as much as we enjoyed being with Israelis, we loved getting toknow our fellow volunteers. Out of about 25 volunteers in our groupranging in age from 18 to 60, about 18 were from the United Statesand Canada. From eating, rooming and traveling together we becamequick friends. Many of us will continue to be friends after theprogram.

Volunteers for Israel can be contacted at (310) 470-1316.

Pamela Kong

Los Angeles

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