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April 10, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Doheny Meat Scandal, Newsweek’s list, Obama’s speech

http://www.jewishjournal.com/letters_to_the_editor/article/letters_to_the_editor_doheny_meat_scandal_newsweeks_list_obamas_speech

Doheny Scandal Raises More Questions
 
Much has been written and spoken about the Doheny Meat scandal. I have not seen or heard anything regarding gratitude to Eric Agaki for his efforts in exposing the facts. Your article last week (“Something’s Not Kosher,” April 5) describes in detail the tremendous skill and labor expended by Agaki in this matter. It would be appropriate for the Rabbinical Council of California and Kehilla Kosher to hire Agaki (if he is available) to independently audit their mashgichim and protocols. Absent the kind of an independent outside auditor of Agazi’s qualifications by the two organizations, my faith in their hashgachas in the future would be highly suspect.
 
Aaron Rubin
Los Angeles 
 
Rabbi Adam Kligfeld misses the point entirely. Rabbi Kligfeld holds a principled opinion that the standard is too stringent, but the Doheny-gate scandal is not about the validity of the glatt kosher standard. The issue is misrepresentation: Doheny represented itself as offering glatt kosher meat and sold products that did not meet that standard.
 
Jay Braun
Los Angeles
 
The article “Something’s Not Kosher” fails to answer the one burning question that everyone wants to know. That question is who hired the private investigator? As a former trial lawyer I often found clarity as to people’s motives once I understood whom it was that benefited from what happened. Follow the film.
 
David Slomovic
via e-mail

The Value of Lists
 
The Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles, now known as BJE — Builders of Jewish Education, selects a “Teacher of the Year.” Lists are compiled and awards given out to individuals and institutions from almost every segment of society from “Where are the best kindergartens to send your child” to the awarding of the Nobel Prize for achievement, as well as, countless other rankings and honors.
 
Are rabbis so “otherworldly” as to defy these same accolades, honors and, yes, critiques at times that exist in other professions in our society (“Time to End ‘Top Rabbis’ List,” March 29)? The “Rabbis’ List” is useful not so much for the individuals mentioned in the article as it is for their ideas, innovations and, in a phrase, their contributions to Klal Yisrael, the greater people Israel.
 
Elliot Semmelman
Huntington Beach

More on the Two-State Issue
 
No child should wake up to the sound of gunfire (“In Their Shoes,” March 29). Palestinians as well as Israelis should have their own state. Both deserve a home for their culture to thrive and a safe environment for their children to grow up in. The Palestinians deserve that right; however, they want the territory that the Jewish people won in war and what is rightfully theirs according to international law, the State of Israel. The Jews have already claimed this land for themselves, for their children to be able to live in safely, and where they will always be accepted. If the Palestinians want to be inhabitants of the Jewish homeland, then they need to understand the repercussions of living there. President Barack Obama was right, we do need to put ourselves in their shoes, but we can’t let others walk all over us. We want to help them, but not when it compromises our own safety.
 
Yael Nissanoff
Los Angeles 

Photo Builds a Bridge to Dialogue
 
I was sitting in a coffee shop one afternoon when one of two young men at another table commented he was collecting Holocaust pictures.
 
I had been looking at the March 8 issue of the Journal, and the picture near the front — a full-page black-and-white photo of SS Nazis bullying a Jewish man — captured my attention. When this young man made the comment, I immediately ripped out the picture to give to him. He kept it!
 
This connection began a conversation. It turns out the two young men are Jewish (one the son of a rabbi). A friend, who was with me at the table, is the son of a Protestant minister. I was raised Protestant. 
 
Your picture was the icebreaker that led us four to enjoy a conversation that lasted more than two hours — mainly discussing Jewish, Protestant beliefs in a respectful way. This was the first time my friend had ever had a discussion with a Jew.
 
It was a wonderful experience of building bridges — all because of this incredibly moving photo. 
 
I just wanted to let you know that many people read the Journal in Redondo Beach. It touches so many lives in many ways. 
 
Sharon Swan
Redondo Beach

Corrections

In the article “Children’s Books Make Passover Come Alive" (March 22), the book “The Elijah Door” received the 2013 Sydney Taylor Honor Award for young readers, a runner-up prize. “Hannah’s Way” by Linda Glaser won the 2013 Sydney Taylor Award for younger readers.

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