December 11, 2008
The will of the people, the light of Chabad, the gift of ‘The Goldbergs’
Thank you for printing Supervisor Yaroslavsky's eloquent piece ("Proposition 8 and 'The Will of the People,'" Nov. 28). While I fully respect the concept of the will of the people, I understand that America ensures that when the will of the people seeks to discriminate, violate or abrogate rights of some people in the name of others, that we have instituted a court system of judiciary impartiality to safeguard those rights.
If we left it to the will of the people, would we ever have ended segregation in this country? Would women have gained the right to vote?
Of all people, we Jews should understand that the will of the people is not always what is best in any given time. Thankfully, our Constitution established a system of justice that isn't, or certainly is not supposed to be, driven solely by the will of the people.
Sometimes the will of the people doesn't know what is best for all people in a given situation. We depend on judges, who, according to the Torah, are not supposed to take bribes and should administer justice fairly and with righteousness. Lets hope that this happens with Proposition 8, as Yaroslavsky says -- soon and in our day.
Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater
Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center
My husband and I picketed the Mormon church on Santa Monica Boulevard 11 days after our legal wedding (Letters, Dec. 5). Our signs said, "I Love My Husband," and our picture made the L.A. Times.
The Mormon Church chose to make war against our marriage. We were married by a rabbi at our synagogue.
What about our religious rights? I don't feel sorry for the Mormon Church or for the businesses being boycotted because the owners donated to Proposition 8.
"I'm a Chabadnik," Rob Eshman writes in "Open House" (Dec. 5). In sympathy, I davened the last two Shabbats with my Northridge Chabad, where my husband, Marcel, z'l, served as baal korei (master of reading).
I met the Rebbe in 1970, when he gave me a dollar, but I did not know who he was that fall day on Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. Foolishly, I spent the dollar on gas to get back to Queens.
I then had a Chabad wedding in L.A., and later my daughter, Aviva, met her husband, Brett, at a Chabad Shabbat dinner with Rabbi and Chani Backman in Boston. When my husband had cancer treatments out of town, we called Rabbi Minsk and his wife at the Newport Chabad and they invited us over for Shabbat dinner.
Staying in different hospitals, where I knew no one, there was always a Chabad rabbi that would go with a smile and a bracha to visit Marcel. Chabad Rabbis Schwartzie, Rivkin, Spritzer and Korf visited. Chabad Rabbi Bryski sent Shabbat meals to me via his mother-in-law for the first cancer surgery, and had the Rebbe send us blessings.
I may also be a Renewal Jew, but I sure know where I can find chesed, loving kindness. I'm a Chabadnik.
Thank you for that very touching, moving and powerful editorial.
Rabbi Moshe Bryski
In "No Money, No Cry" (Nov. 28), David Suissa pointed out that the current economy presents nonprofits an opportunity to explore ways to do more with less.
David cited a hypothetical example of a Holocaust memorial struggling to raise the money to build a new museum.
I'm pleased to point out the extent to which David's example was, in fact, purely hypothetical. L'havdil, the real Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, successfully meets its benchmarks in its $20 million capital campaign.
Construction continues apace at the site in Pan Pacific Park for the new museum. This construction could not have begun had we not been able to demonstrate to the city of Los Angeles full funding for our construction needs.
We invite David and the entire community to attend the gala awards ceremony and screening on Jan. 29.
Mark A. Rothman
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
I got such a kick out of the Gertrude Berg TV show on your Web site.
Aunt Tilly, as my mother called her, was my grandpa's first cousin. Today of all days, I'm wearing a bird pin that Aunt Tilly bought at Tiffany's as a gift when my mother stayed with her in her Park Avenue apartment.
My great-grandmother was a source of inspiration in creating Molly's character for the radio show, which, as you probably know, was the original soap opera. Anyway, thanks for the memories.
Dose of Spirituality
Last Friday my family sat in our hotel room in Jerusalem glued to CNN and watching the horror in India. Unfortunately, at 3:45 the bulletin flashing across the screen stating that 5 people were killed at the Chabad House brought total gloom to Jews around the world. Even though it was drizzling, my son suggested that we daven Kabbalat Shabbos at the Kotel. Arriving at the Kotel, I finally realized the feeling that I had hoped for. Soldiers dancing with boys from YULA and Skokie High Schools. Charedim dancing with Chasidim and soldiers singing "AM YISROEL CHAI." The davening was intense and the dancing invigorating.
As we walked back to the hotel that night I came to two realizations.
The first is that the next time I visit the Kotel, I should bring more shekels. The poverty level being very high in Israel, I should think more of helping these people than them interrupting my davening.
The second realization is that throughout history hate mongers have tried to destroy us. These acts of violence do not make us weaker but in fact make us stronger and more united. These acts show me how resilient we are as a people and giving some like myself an overflowing feel of spirituality.
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