Letters Week of March 7, 2013


A story suggested — wrongly — that a special wedding took place on Shabbat; and why wasn't there any talk of God in either one of the Shabbat-related stories?

Wedding Would Never Have Been on Shabbat

Your cover story on the wedding at Beth Sholom (“When a Fake Jewish Wedding Gets Real,” Feb. 28) gives the impression that it took place on Shabbat. That is contrary to Jewish law and it would never happen in a Conservative congregation.

The Shabbat elements were the Minhah, Ma’ariv and Havdalah services that preceded the wedding. The ceremony itself began after the conclusion of Shabbat.

Rabbi Robert Layman | Wyncote

No Word of God In Either of the Shabbat Stories

I found it quite incredible that the very encouraging cover articles about Shabbat in the Feb. 28 issue of the Jewish Exponent (“Shaking Up the Holy Day” and “When a Fake Jewish Wedding Gets Real”) did not once mention God. How could such an omission occur?

The story coincided with last week’s Torah portion, which includes Exodus 31:16-17 and tells us that “the Israelite people shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout the ages as a covenant for all time … it shall be a sign for all time between Me and the people of Israel. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from work and was refreshed.”

This weekly respite from work can’t have true meaning without acknowledging who gave us this gift. If God created the entire world in six days, can we not be conscious of our debt to Him, for in so doing, He provided us with a single day of rest from our mundane activities?

God gave us these 25 hours each week when all the cares of our work-a-day lives can be set aside so we can act in ways that nourish our souls.

Without question, God must be the centerpiece of this day. Without that being so, we are not His people.

Elaine Katz | Philadelphia

Special Night Made Possible by Special Gift

Thank you for the article about JFCS’ recent trip to the 76ers game (“A Special ‘Sixers’ Night for Special Needs,” Feb. 14). The evening was extraordinary on many levels for our special needs clients and this was captured very accurately in the piece by reporter Bryan Schwartzman.

JFCS is grateful to be able to offer this activity and others like it to our clients, and we are able to do so because of the generosity of one donor, Bobbi Brodsky.

Through Brodsky’s vision and kindness, JFCS provides comprehensive programming for adults with developmental disabilities all year long.

The B’side Program (Brodsky Support for Independence, Development and Enrichment for Adults With Special Needs) enables JFCS to provide our special needs clients with care management services, connections to community based resources, life skills training and lots of fun.

Unfortunately, many of those with developmental disabilities are in lower-income brackets, due to numerous factors, not the least of which is the ability to find proper employment. Many of our clients wouldn’t have been able to enjoy such an event were it not for Brodsky’s generosity.

Sherrie Eisman | Jewish Family and Children’s Service


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