September 16, 2019

Letters to the editor: Passover edition, Simone Zimmerman and more

Passover Deluxe

Your Passover edition: What a great seder feast for the mind, representing a rainbow of opinions, right, left and center, beginning with “Seder at Bernie’s” and ending with “The Malicious Anti-Israel Lie Told by Jews” (April 22). But the most inspiring and uniting one was “Picking Up the Pieces” (by Rabbi Amy Bernstein), about the afikomen as dessert. It made my Passover!

Yona Sabar, Westwood 

Welcoming the Stranger

Very thought-provoking cover story, I can relate deeply on many levels (“The Elijah Dilemma: How Do You Welcome the Stranger When You Can’t Stand Your Neighbor?” April 22). I think we want to appear kind and open- hearted, which conflicts with our boundaries. If we set boundaries, then we may not be so open-hearted, but we at least are being honest. I did not open my seder to everyone. I have boundaries with the fact that some people change the energy of a room, and if I am sharing my home, I have a plan for how I want it to feel. That said, it is a painful dilemma. The nice me would open my home to everyone. The one with boundaries is more honest and therefore more selfish, which does not feel good, either. Prayer is helpful.

Barbara Goodson via

Monica Osborne’s wonderful and insightful cover article reminds me of those zealous youths of my generation who wanted to go out and repair the world and yet couldn’t be bothered to clean their rooms to bring peace to their parents. 

I hope the book on the midrash she is currently finishing will shed some light on our obligation as Jews to bring the stranger into our midst, and whether we are obliged to bring food to them rather than leave some for them in the corner of our fields to harvest.

Warren Scheinin, Redondo Beach

And We Raise Our Cups

Witty, insightful and right on (“Seder at Bernie’s,” April 22). I am reading this column after our seder. I don’t always agree with everything Rob Eshman says, but I always admire the way he says it. This piece is a little masterpiece!

Irina Bragin via

If Not Now, What Then?

David Myers’ entire house of cards defense of Simone Zimmerman is belied in what appears to be a throwaway line describing the IfNotNow movement (“Who Is Simone Zimmerman?” April 22). Myers states, “Rather than compound the difficulty of the task [of seeking to end the occupation] by considering a range of long-term political solutions, IfNotNow’s sole focus is to upset the status quo of opinion and deed in order to bring an end to the occupation, full stop.”

What an absurd, dangerously simplistic, reductionist and hopelessly naïve approach. IfNotNow, much like Myers himself, and others who blame Israel for maintaining control of the West Bank, doesn’t propose any practical solution to the problem — because there are none, not now and not for the foreseeable future.  

Jeff Kandel via email

Thank you, David Myers. Young (or old) Jews shouldn’t have to check their critical faculties at the door when they discuss Israel.

Rosanne Keynan via Facebook

Ask the Israelis

Once again, professor David N. Myers finds fault with Jewish Israelis (“Pew Israel Survey,” April 15). He laments that, according to the survey, a plurality of Jewish Israelis favor expelling or transferring Arabs out of Israel. Myers spoke to two of his Arab friends, and they also lamented this.

I wonder why Myers did not ask Jewish Israelis their reasons. Could the reasons be that they don’t want Arabs to stab them to death, or crush them to death with a car, or obliterate them with explosives?

Myers asks, “How would Jews feel if nearly half, or even a quarter of America’s population favored our removal?”

How would Americans feel if nearly every day, Arab terrorists stabbed and blew up Americans? If every time they left the house, or their husbands or wives or daughters or sons, they were worried about getting murdered?

Paul Nisenbaum, Los Angeles