September 24, 2013
Letters to the Editor: Ian Lustick, Kaparot, Sukkot and Anne Frank
Many Opinions on One-State Article
Only in an echo chamber of anti-Zionists do Ian Lustick’s arguments sound anything but absurd (“One-State Delusion,” Sept. 20).
Ethan Felson, Vice President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs of Columbus, Ohio
Excellent, thoughtful analysis of an absurd piece.
Ethan Roberts, Director, Jewish Community Relations Council for Minnesota and the Dakotas
Ian Lustick is actually past president of the Association for Israel Studies, at least according to his CV and Wikipedia. His op-ed may be unpersuasive for a variety of reasons, but “total lack of familiarity with Israeli society” is probably not one of his shortcomings.
Julie Wiener via jewishjournal.com
Kaparot Ritual: The Anger Continues
To say that I was disturbed by the defense — by “my people” — of the practice of kaparot would be a huge understatement. Of course, it reminded me of a story that I recently read about two sea turtles found in Israel: one in Gaza that was dragged behind a pickup truck and killed by the Palestinians — and the other an injured one found by Israelis north of Tel Aviv that was operated on, saved and released back to the sea. This is how we as Jews fulfill our obligation on being “A Light Unto the Nations” — not by swinging helpless chickens above our heads.
Richard David, Culver City
Do religious, cultural communities — or any community — grow and evolve best from within? Indeed. Unfortunately, history reveals that few communities embrace justice independent of outside pressure. Should the Jewish community evaluate its own rituals, free from outside interference? In fact, the animal rights movement is a beneficiary of the path of tzedakah paved by the Jewish people who fight all forms of intolerance, injustice and cruelty. That noble action has led unquestionably to the protest of kaparot where religious and nonreligious alike stand opposed to animal cruelty. In fact, in truth, in justice, the Jewish community has called us to do nothing less.
Ann Bradley via jewishjournal.com
More Balance, Please
Marty Kaplan shows that his beliefs are as firmly held as those in the study, since he only uses examples of Fox News viewers and conservatives as those who won’t believe facts (“The Most Depressing Brain Finding Ever,” Sept. 20). How about being a little more balanced since the research shows both conservatives and liberals demonstrated this phenomenon?
Quinn Cramer, Carlsbad, California via jewishjournal.com
A Very Special Sukkah
Your cover of the sukkah on the front page of the last Jewish Journal was indeed lovely (“Making the Sukkah Beautiful,” Sept. 20), though not as special as the one our family joins together with grandparents, children, grandchildren and family friends to build. We decorate with what can almost be called the history of Israel and the Jewish people. The decor may not be as creative as your front cover designs, but when we sit in our sukkah we know before Whom we stand.
Golda Mendelsohn via e-mail
Anne Frank’s Diary Gives Rise to More Questions
Thanks for contextualizing so accurately/thoroughly the publication of Anne’s diary (“Anne Frank’s Legacy Is Brought to Life,” Sept. 13). Only the Museum of Tolerance could help portray Anne, whom many readers know only from the diary, through to her tragic finale.
That said, one might still ask: 1) Why did Otto excise from Anne’s original writings, and revisions, exactly those sections he did — apart from considerations of modesty, portrayals of relationships and revealed interfamilial squabbles? 2) What role did the 1940s/’50s publishing era play? (Knopf Inc., for example, was one of 15 publishers who rejected the English-language rights version, calling the diary “very dull ... a dreary record of typical family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotions.”)
Scholar/writer Melissa Müller is entirely correct, of course, that Otto Frank “decided to universalize her [Anne’s] destiny.” Still, critics such as Meyer Levin, Bruno Bettelheim, Lawrence Langer, Richard Bernstein and, of course, Cynthia Ozick all weighed in on Otto’s choices — and “what he should have done” regarding sharing Anne’s words.
Beyond the upcoming exhibition, those curious about Anne’s original words can access the 2003 English translation of “The Diary of Anne Frank: The Revised Critical Edition.”
Bill Younglove, Lakewood
It’s a real shame when a very vocal minority voice in the population can have such power over what the (unfortunately) silent majority wants to see and hear (“La Brea ‘Eastbound & Down’ Billboard Removed After Orthodox Pressure,” Sept. 20).
Richard Gumpert via jewishjournal.com
Faster Than Runner Jesse Owens
What the article about the Marty Glickman documentary failed to mention was that Glickman was one of the fastest 100-meter runners in the world who, on occasion, had beaten Jesse Owens (“Olympian, Sportscaster Gets His Due in ‘Glickman,’ ” Aug. 30).
Richard Friedman via e-mail