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Letters Week of Sept. 3, 2009
Fast for Only One Reason -- the Freeing of Shalit
It seems that the clergy of the Reconstructionist movement has succumbed to the "Stockholm Syndrome," where the victim identifies with his captor's cause. Swayed by Arab propaganda that Israel is the oppressor, these rabbis repeat -- and endorse -- defaming and dishonest claims (Nation & World: "Rabbis Call for Fasting to Show Solidarity With Palestinian Cause," Aug. 27).
Arabs accuse Israel (and all Jews) of every type of harm and injustice. This month, the blood-libel canard is that Israelis kidnap Palestinians to harvest their organs, then return the bodies (Cover story: "Organ Ordeal: Did Sweden Fumble or Israel Overreact?" Aug. 27). Does any decent person, let alone an authentic rabbi, believe this to be true?
Israel has denied, disproved and denounced the unending litany of Arab smears.
Yet these protesting rabbis choose to believe that it is the Arabs who are telling the truth, and that the Israelis are lying.
Why such allegiance?
This group should be fasting in support of the only Jew left in Gaza -- Gilad Shalit, wounded, kidnapped and held incommunicado for more than three years.
Israel can't even get one soldier returned by the Arabs!
Compassion for Shalit and Israel is in order -- not for Arabs who shoot rockets and missiles into Israel, and fill their society with hate.
Roberta E. Dzubow
Why No Talk of Singles in Synagogue Article?
I read with great interest your cover story in the Aug. 27 issue called "The Writing's on the Wall," about synagogues realizing that they must come up with creative ways to bring in and retain young families.
Still, I was struck by the absence of any discussion of Jewish singles.
Why was the article limited to families -- a rapidly disappearing construct in America?
The title has an important meaning perhaps unrealized by the editors.
The "writing" is indeed "on the wall." If synagogues continue to ignore singles -- or make half-hearted attempts to interest them -- the "Jewish family" will indeed continue to decline in numbers.
The inadequacy of the effort to attract singles is startling. One only has to compare the programs held at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church for the analogous group to be ashamed.
There are other venues for Jewish singles to meet in Philadelphia, but rafting trips, fundraisers, happy hours -- even trips to Israel -- are unsustained efforts to appeal to this growing segment of the adult Jewish population.
Perhaps the Jewish Exponent might write an equally lengthy article about "where" Jewish singles plan to spend the High Holidays, how many are affiliated with a synagogue -- and if not, why.
Dr. Margot Soven
Don't Smear the Author, Speak About the Issues!
I see that Shmuel Betancourt has "revealed" to Jewish Exponent readers that Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the "sock puppet" of Mort Klein, who runs the Zionist Organization of America (Letters: "Much More to This Writer Than Meets the Eye," Aug. 27).
I feel obliged to complete Mr. Betancourt's disclosure by further advising the Exponentaudience that Mrs. Marcus, who happens to be my wife, is, in fact, a good friend of Mort's. But if Mr. Betancourt thinks my wife is anyone's puppet, he has quite another thing coming.
Perhaps if he would engage her in direct conversation, he would discover her lack of puppet qualities. By way of analysis, as Mr. Betancourt suggests, Mrs. Marcus is not in the habit of doing what any man tells her, even Mort Klein.
It might also be more useful to readers if a letter to the editor addressed the substance of an article it was criticizing, rather than just making ad hominem attacks.
From what I can see, Z Street adds a great deal to the dialogue about Middle East policy, both in clarity of principles and in the tools for conveying those principles.
It's too bad that Mr. Betancourt has nothing to say about goals, strategy or tactics, and can only resort to name-calling.
Jerome M. Marcus