May 31, 2013
Letters to the Editor: Women of the Wall, Gun Violence, Angelina Jolie
Words at the Wall
If praying with tallis and tefillin was all that Women of the Wall (WOW) wanted, they would be satisfied with the Sharnsky compromise of a third section for all other forms of Jewish worship (“Stone-Walling,” May 24). If they accepted that, they would also be allowing the Orthodox to have a place where they could pray the way they wanted to. The 2,000-year history of ritual and prayer at the Kotel should be allowed to continue and have its place as well.
This type of “theater” illustrates that it’s not just equality that WOW want, but rather to impose their practices and values on others. This is frighteningly similar to Muslims who want to impose their will on democratic societies.
I hope every Jewish person comes to the Kotel; every man, woman and child who can get there, comes to the Kotel, regardless of level of frumkeit, age, attire. Come, just come, and maybe when the whole squawking mess of us shows up at the Wall, unable to discern who is enemy and who is friend, we’ll come to realize that we all are Jews and we are all friends; that there has never been the need to fight. Am Yisrael Chai.
Rachel Ann Anolick-Hindarochel
Tefillin Not for Sharing
I don’t find this exciting at all (“My Grandfather’s Tefillin,” May 24). In my opinion, it’s really a shame and disrespectful. I think we women must remember how holy it feels to have a man that is not equal to us; being the man, they are unique and special.
What’s with the obsession with gun violence (“Scandal!” May 24)? It’s not even among the 15 leading causes of death in the United States, according to National Vital Statistics Report. It’s down a stunning 49 percent since 1993.
And according to a recent Gallup poll, most Americans (86 percent) think job creation and economic growth should be Congress’ top priority (gun control is next to last).
Advances in Breast Cancer Surgery
Dr. Albert Fuchs’ column on Angelina Jolie’s preventative double mastectomy addressed the difficult issue of breast cancer surgery very well but it’s worth emphasizing an often overlooked aspect — the type of mastectomy performed ("Understanding Angelina," May 17). The mastectomy that Jolie underwent is not the old-fashioned procedure that leaves a woman with a horrible scar across the chest in place of her breast. This operation, a leftover from the early days of surgery, is gradually being replaced by operations that join the best of plastic surgery with cancer surgery, together known as oncoplastic surgery. These surgeries are proven to accomplish cancer prevention or treatment as effectively without the deformity that destroys the lives of many breast cancer survivors.
Jolie’s surgery, a nipple-sparing mastectomy with implant reconstruction, is just one version of these operations that remove the cancer-forming breast tissue inside the breast but leave the skin and even nipple intact. The volume inside the breast can be replaced with an implant, as in Jolie’s case, or natural fat from elsewhere in the body. As a result, Jolie can look forward to a new life without high risk of developing breast cancer but still have breasts that look and feel normal. The important point for readers of the Journal is that you don’t need to be an A-level actress to access these advanced oncoplastic procedures. Most preventative mastectomies and breast cancer surgeries are amenable to similar surgical techniques, but, like many things in medicine today, it pays to do a little homework and be a more informed patient.
As doctors involved in the treatment of this heartbreaking disease on a daily basis, we applaud Ms. Jolie opening the discussion and Dr. Fuchs for his informed column.
Dr. Joshua D. I. Ellenhorn, director, Tower Breast Center
Dr. Joel A. Aronowitz, director of plastic surgery, Tower Breast Center
I may be mistaken but each and every time I pick up the Jewish Journal and there is poetry in your Poem section, the poet just happens to be female. Is there a reason for this bias or is this just the quirkiness of my no longer religiously reading your journal and fortuitously missing the males?
Editor’s Note: In just the last seven issues, the Journal has published the poetry of Tony Barnstone, David Gershator, Jake Marmer and Bill Yarrow. Look them up at jewishjournal.com/poetry and see what you have been missing.
In the photo caption for “A Match Made in … Israel” (May 17), Nevo Segal is on the left, not the right.