December 12, 2012
Letters to the Editor: Bill Maher, Witold Pilecki, ‘Lincoln’
A Word to the Unwise
I didn’t get around to reading the Dec. 7 issue of the Jewish Journal until late last night, and when I saw the Danielle Berrin column, “Q&A With Bill Maher,” the words of Joseph Welch came to mind when he said to despicable Sen. Joe McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”
Not only did Bill Maher use the “C-word” when talking about Sarah Palin, but he proudly defended his use of that hateful, disgusting anti-woman expletive.
How a family Jewish newspaper can treat this piece of filth with dignity and seriousness is beyond my understanding. What about all the articles devoted to women the Journal published over the years? Would you do a Q&A on any matter with David Duke? How about Louis Farrakhan?
I will never again look at another issue of the Journal, and I will inform my thousand-plus readers about this.
God, what has happened to our educated, intelligent, caring Jewish people?
Harvey B. Schechter
More Stories of the Righteous
I had never heard of Witold Pilecki and was quite surprised to be reading about him for the first time (“Beyond Bravery,” Dec. 7). Please continue to keep us informed about the non-Jews who helped us out during World War II. We will no longer walk meekly into ovens and turn our heads the other way. We are aware now and count on people like Rob Eshman to keep all of us Jews and non-Jews aware of helping each other, because, truly, are we all not one people?
History Reveals the Extent of Lincoln’s Greatness
Joseph Dostal’s letter about Abraham Lincoln was not fair to our greatest president (“ ‘Lincoln’ Twists History,” Nov. 30). It is estimated that there have been more than 7,000 biographies of Lincoln written — some adoring and some quite hostile. Lincoln experienced tremendous opposition during his presidency. Southerners considered him a dangerous radical, abolitionists considered him a procrastinator, “peaceniks” considered him a warmonger. Had it not been for Sherman’s spectacular victories, Lincoln’s own party would have dumped him after his first term. His mainstay of support came from the Evangelical community.
Study Lincoln’s second inaugural address — it is an amazing document! Lincoln tried to create a theodicy of the carnage of the Civil War; namely, he felt that the Civil War was Divine punishment for the sin of slavery.
One-hundred-forty-seven years have passed since Lincoln’s presidency and we are just beginning to fathom his greatness.
Rabbi Louis Feldman
Appreciation for Journal’s Philanthropy Coverage
The Jewish Community Foundation applauds the Jewish Journal for its in-depth coverage of philanthropy. I was pleased to be included in your insightful story on using insurance as an effective tool for charitable giving (“The Gift of Life insurance,” Nov. 23).
However there is one point to clarify regarding the use of insurance to fund a Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE). The Lion of Judah program is a vital initiative of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles to reach out to female donors, and LOJE donations referred to in the article support The Jewish Federation, not The Jewish Community Foundation.
The Foundation has collaborated over many years with The Jewish Federation and has helped establish numerous Lion of Judah endowments. With our expertise in handling a variety of assets — including insurance, securities, real estate and personal property, among others — The Foundation serves as a facilitator of charitable resources to The Jewish Federation, and, in particular, for women who wish to endow their annual gift to the Federation.
Vice President, Charitable Gift Planning
Jewish Community Foundation
of Los Angeles
Importance of Jewish Ritual
I read with interest your profile of Jewish Federation chair Richard Sandler (“Richard Sandler: A Philanthropic Life,” Nov. 23). While it is not my intention to criticize Sandler’s (and his late father’s) level of Jewish ritual observance, I found it hard to reconcile two important statements made in the article. Sandler is dismayed by how many Jews are opting out of Jewish lives, because he understands the meaningfulness Jewish connection can offer. He then recounts how his grandfather taught his father that it was more important to live Jewish values than to follow all the rituals.
I am convinced that the reason so many Jews opt out of Jewish life is precisely because there cannot be a meaningful Jewish connection without Jewish ritual. It is Jewish ritual, which so often emphasizes community, family and individual, responsibility, unity and spirit that gave birth to “Jewish values.” Take away the former and you are left with an empty shell of the latter.
No wonder so many Jewish youth (in age and knowledge) fail to see the beauty of Jewish values — they have no idea what differentiated it from anything else.