Jewish Journal

Letters to the Editor: Sam Bacile, Rabbi Naomi Levy, Jewish Journal redesign

Posted on Sep. 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Not All Christians Are the Same

I study modern Hebrew at the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, and on my way out I grab your newspaper and read some of the articles at home. I usually read the Torah Portion and meditate on the wisdom there.

I am not Jewish, yet I am attracted to Jewish things, especially reading parts of the Bible in Hebrew. Being a Christian woman myself, my devotion is to the Bible and its Author.

The content of Rob Eshman’s Sept. 21 column (“Sam I Am … Not”) makes sense to me, except one sentence, where I read about the setting off of all your “kooky-Christian-homophobe alarm bells.” This saddens me. Not all Christians are homophobic, and not all Christians who aspire for the marriage between a man and a woman are kooky. I know some Christian parents who love their gay adult children, inviting them to their homes, including their partners — even though they do not agree with their lifestyle.

All the best to you and a very blessed New Year of 5773.

Lucine Iskenderian via e-mail 

Rob Eshman responds: Ms. Iskenderian is correct that the Christian view toward homosexuality is as diverse as Christians themselves. In my column, I used a hyphen to indicate I was speaking solely of the “kooky-Christian” variety, but I plead guilty to being less than clear. 

A Mother to Cherish

I have just finished reading Rabbi Naomi Levy’s article about her marvelous relationship with her mother (“The Meaning of Memory: A Yizkor Reflection,” Sept. 21). How blessed she is to have had such an incredible home life with such a caring and nurturing mother. What an inspiration for those who came after Ruth Levy. How I wish that I had come from such a home. I cannot stop crying; it was so beautiful. 

Bette Hirsh Levy, Tarzana

Redesigned Journal Is Better Than Ever

I write to you today to celebrate your accomplishment in making something great even better with this new iteration of the Jewish Journal (Sept. 14). I loved every ounce of it. I absolutely delight in the stylistic and substantive choices you made. I am moved and engaged by the new participatory segments that will allow the community to connect and share their images and their advice and their jokes. You have opened the communal doors even wider with these invitations, and I have no doubt that what you have built will give a rich, diverse group of individuals a wonderful place to gather, to share, and to be one and to be singular at the very same time.

What a gift to all of us. Thank you, thank you, for that.

Samara Hutman via e-mail

Shana Tov and Mazel Tov on the most recent edition of the Jewish Journal. This is a treasure trove to be cherished and kept away from the recycle pile.

I have been an appreciative reader/subscriber for the past six years. Prior to that I was one of the hordes who searched for the freebees wherever I could find one. During an enforced homestay because of severe back problems, I had no access to the Jewish Journal. I felt so isolated from the L.A. Jewish community — to my surprise.

The solution was easy. Thank God for home delivery — with a little help from the circulation department. I look forward to many years of enjoying your marvelous coverage of local, national and world Jewry.

Estelle Markowitz, Los Angeles

Reuniting Father and Son

The article “Father and Son” (Sept. 7) exquisitely embodies the spirit and challenge of Rosh Hashanah. Father and son come to the other asking, first, to be heard and, only second, to hear the other. After an exchange or two of this, we can’t be sure whether the conversation will be healing, bringing them closer to each other, or alienating, pushing each more deeply into the isolation of despair.

Fortunately for us, Rabbis Feinstein and Farkas show them how to achieve harmony by communicating in a both-and — rather than an either-or — way that embraces the other’s point of view while coming away comforted that each is understood as well. 

That it took Dad’s enticement of lox at shul for his son and his son’s buddies following Neilah only underscores how miraculously food can serve the cause of prayer and repentance.

Roger Smith via e-mail


Due to a text conversion error in our layout software, the direction of Hebrew letters for our “Yiddish Word of the Week” in the past two issues was reversed.

A letter regarding Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s (HUC-JIR) DeLeT program (“Innovative Teaching,” Sept. 21) should have been attributed to Michael Zeldin, senior national director of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Schools of Education.

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