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Jewish Journal

Letters

January 29, 1998 | 7:00 pm

I applaud your call for actively increasing Jewishliteracy ("What's Your Jewish I.Q.?" Jan. 9). We are the mosteducated Jewish community of all time -- in everything but Judaism.We are doctors and lawyers, professors of history and French, but forall too many of us, what little Judaism we have was acquired inchildhood. I especially praise your view of literacy in whichreligion occupies the central role.

But I looked in vain for a direct reference tolearning Hebrew. Yiddish was mentioned specifically. So was Torah --yet Torah can (and should) be studied with much help from English.The goal, of course, should be knowledge of Torah in Hebrew. And the"ABC" of Hebrew must mean more than the alef-bet! After all, recitingwithout comprehension is what drove many away from the tradition inthe first place.

And, difficult as language study is, as comparedwith just talking about ideas, I find that many college students"turned off" to Jewish religion are nevertheless interested in Hebrew(along with Israel). So Hebrew should be not only a central goal, butalso a means to achieving the whole goal.

Zev bar-Lev

Professor of Linguistics andHebrew

San Diego StateUniversity

Chevra Kadisha

In regard to "Mortuary Troubles"(Jan. 2), I wantto relieve many fears that members of the community may have inregard to a shortage of volunteers to perform the taharah (ritual purification ofthe remains)and shmira (staying with the deceased in the mortuary and recitingprayers for the decedent's soul from the book of Psalms).

Chevrakadisha is simply a generic term for thethousands of volunteers worldwide who perform this most important actof taking care of the dead for proper Jewish burial. Los Angeles usedto have a volunteer chevra kadisha some 20 years ago, until the namewas incorporated into a for-profit mortuary.

With nearly a dozen Jewish mortuaries in LosAngeles County alone, there are enough people to handle this mostimportant religious requirement.

Sholom Chapels Mortuaries have always had therequisite staff members that are able to perform these services. Weoffer these services to the community with the reassurance that theJewish dead will be taken care of properly.

Know that there are enough mortuaries, with enoughchevra kadisha staff members to handle the services for ourcommunities.

Moe Goldsman

Mortuary Manager

Sholom ChapelsMortuaries

Los Angeles

Clarification

International Media Placement, Jerusalem,publisher of the "After 40 Centuries It's Great to Be 50" advertisingsupplement on Israel travel distributed by The Jewish Journal withthe Dec. 12 issue, wishes to clarify that the entire supplement waswritten by New York author Ann Birstein with the exception of thearticle "A Birthday Surprise."

Correction

The Jewish Journal printed an incorrect phonenumber for Ann J. Elkin, Ph.D. last week in a Senior Sceneadvertorial titled "Psychologist Deals With Issues of Aging." Thecorrect phone number is (800) 317-5433. We regret any inconveniencethat may have been caused by this error.

 

THE JEWISH JOURNAL welcomes letters from allreaders. Letters should be no more than 250 words and we reserve theright to edit for space. All letters must include a signature, validaddress and phone number. Pseudonyms and initials will not be used,but names will be withheld on request. Unsolicited manuscripts andother materials should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope inorder to be returned.Publisher, Stanley Hirsh

THE JEWISH JOURNAL welcomes letters from allreaders. Letters should be no more than 250 words and we reserve theright to edit for space. All letters must include a signature, validaddress and phone number. Pseudonyms and initials will not be used,but names will be withheld on request. Unsolicited manuscripts andother materials should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope inorder to be returned.Publisher, Stanley Hirsh

Editor-in chief,Gene Lichtenstein

Managing editor, Robert Eshman

Assistant editor, Stig Jantz

Calendar and copy editor, William Yelles

Senior writer, NaomiPfefferman

Staff writer, RuthStroud

Production coordinator and

online editor, SaraEve Roseman

Community editor,Michael Aushenker

Arts editor, DianeArieff Zaga

Senior Columnist, Marlene Adler Marks

National Correspondent, J. J. Goldberg

Contributing writers, James David Besser (Washington), Larry Derfner (Tel Aviv),Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Linda Feldman, Beverly Gray, Joel Kotkin, RabbiSteven Leder, Yehuda Lev, Deborah Berger-Reiss, Eric Silver(Jerusalem), Teresa Strasser

Contributing editor, Tom Tugend

Art director,Shelley Adler

Photo/Graphics, Carvin Knowles

Advertising art director, Lionel Ochoa

Members of the corporation,

Ed Brennglass (1919-1997), Willard Chotiner, IrwinDaniels, Irwin Field, David Finegood, Herbert Gelfand, Osias Goren,Richard Gunther, Stanley Hirsh, Marvin Kristan, Mark Lainer

Legal counsel/ accountants, Leon Katz of Tyre, Kamins, Katz and Granoff; JonathanKirsch of Kirsch and Mitchell/Gerald Block of Block, Plant andEisner

THE JEWISH JOURNAL (ISSN 0888-0468) USPS 468530 ispublished weekly, every Thursday for $23.50 (out of state add $12.50)by Los Angeles Jewish Publications Inc., a community nonprofitcorporation, 3660 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 204, Los Angeles,California 90010. Address all mail to: Jewish Journal, 3660 WilshireBoulevard, Suite 204, Los Angeles, California 90010. Phone213-738-7778, Fax 213-368-1684. E-mail at Los Angeles Freenet,ab871@lafn.org

© 1998 Los Angeles Jewish PublicationsInc.

All rights reserved.

Periodicals Postage Paid at Los Angeles,California.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE JEWISHJOURNAL, 3660 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 204, Los Angeles, California90010. THE JEWISH JOURNAL is not responsible for unsolicitedmanuscripts or photographs. They will not be returned unless senderenclosed return postage.

THE JEWISH JOURNAL does not endorse the goods andservices advertised in its pages, and it makes no representation asto the kashrut of food products and services in suchadvertising.

 

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