Jewish Journal

Letters to the editor: North Korea, Howard Stern, nachas and more

Posted on Feb. 5, 2014 at 10:26 am

North Korea’s Familiar Struggle

I am writing to give you a heartfelt thanks for the cover story on the human rights situation in North Korea (“Holocaust in the Hermit Kingdom,” Jan. 24). I was born in the United States, my parents are South Korean immigrants, and in my family tree, I have relatives who are in North Korea, most likely dead, maybe some are alive.  I first heard about Shin Dong-Hyuk several years ago and it was nice to get a recent update on him. Most importantly, I want to thank you for being a concerned citizen of the world, and for bringing this travesty to greater awareness. Thank you and please extend my thanks to the writer of the cover story as well. He did a wonderful job.

Yurie Ann Cho via e-mail 

I just had to respond to the excellent article “Auschwitz in North Korea” (Jan. 24). I first became aware of this situation when Shin Dong-hyuk was interviewed on “60 Minutes” a few years ago. Americans (Jews) should do whatever we can to try to put a stop to it.  There is an excellent book, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, called “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson. It is the hardest book I have ever read.  [It is] about a camp in North Korea, I highly recommend it. Thank you Jewish Journal for making your readers aware of the cruelties Kim Jong-un is inflicting on his people.

Barbara Polisky via e-mail 

For the Love of Stern

As a fellow Stern superfan, I am always overjoyed when I read your columns about Howard, especially because I know you “get it” (“Howard Stern’s Secret, and Ours,” Jan. 31), and so few who do “get it” are willing to step up, and even more so, you did it before it was popular to do so. I know that your work has been acknowledged on the Stern show and one thing I would give anything to see would be Don Buchwald or Gary granting you a one-on-one interview with Howard for the Jewish Journal.

Ron Rimmon via e-mail

Thank you so much for making me feel vindicated after so very long.

Forever, whenever I mentioned Howard Stern, how funny, brilliant, and great he is, I was met by rolling eyes and disapproving words, to the point that I stopped bringing his name up.

Yes, he is the greatest interviewer today.  And Jay Leno, who I once thought was the greatest stand-up comedian of our time, is the worst interviewer in the media.

And I always loved when someone called to complain about how “the Jews” rule the world and own the media. Howard would ask them, “Do you think anyone gave them anything?  Don’t you think they worked for it?  Instead of griping about it, why not go out and make something of yourself, and work to take it back.”  I loved that, even if he is only half-Jewish … (I’m joking.)

By the way, don’t forget Robin, who really makes the show work.

Marvin Bluth via e-mail

A Month Later, Praise Still Flowing … 

I loved your editorial on “Wolf of Wall Street” (“ ‘The Wolf’ and the Jewish Problem,” Jan. 3). You raised important questions that tie into the national debate of wealth inequality. Will you be publishing more on this subject? I certainly hope so. I’ve only started reading your paper in the last few years.  The range of discourse is unlike any other publication and I love that. It would interest me to read the opinions of your various columnists and others on the issue of wealth and responsibility. I’m not a member of a temple and haven’t found a rabbi to be in awe of since Jack Stern at Westchester Reform Temple, where I was confirmed. I’m now thinking the Jewish Journal can be my guide!

Bruce Green via e-mail 

Nature vs. Nachas

Thank you Dennis Prager for writing “What is Nachas?” for the Jewish Journal (Jan. 24). If parents get nachas from their children, the children realize it and it has a positive effect on them. Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber are not behaving in a way peaceful to their parents, but in accepting country music’s Pinnacle Award last November, Taylor Swift said, “My parents are not just crying, they are bawling at this point,” and Swift’s mother gave Swift’s father a hug on hearing her daughter say this.

A lack of nachas can have a snowballing effect on parents and children alike. Cyrus and Bieber and their faimilies figure to have rough sledding finding peace. The opposite of peace can be war and wars usually get nastier the longer they go on. The behavior of Cyrus and Bieber will probably worsen.

Joe Colville, Torrance


The correct contact information for Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills’ Jan. 10 Shabbat Shira,  the Shabbat of Song event (Calendar, Jan. 3),  is (310) 409-4634, tebh.org. 

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