Jewish Journal

Your Letters

Posted on Sep. 19, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Marlene Adler Marks

All Hadassah members nationwide -- and especially those in Southern California -- wish to express their heartfelt condolences to Marlene Adler Marks' daughter, Samantha, and all of Marlene's family. Through her Women's Voice columns in The Jewish Journal and her articles in the National Hadassah magazine, Marlene expressed so much to, and on behalf of, all of us. What a tremendous loss for Jewish women and people everywhere. We are saddened by her passing, all too soon with, we are sure, so much left to say.

Marlene was an active member of Hadassah's MorningStar Commission, sharing her sage advice with her fellow members, working so hard to improve the images of Jewish women in the media. In Marlene's memory, MorningStar Commission members will certainly rededicate themselves to their purposes with renewed vigor.

We thank The Jewish Journal for sharing Marlene's words of wisdom with all of us. Her life made a difference for so many. She was definitely a shining star in all of our lives. May her memory be a blessing and an inspiration.

Sharon L. Krischer , Chair Hadassah Southern California

I did not know Marlene Marks personally, only through her writing. She, however, made a profound impression on me and I always looked forward to her columns. She was often in my prayers. I was so saddened to hear of her untimely passing. Just a few weeks ago, I clipped her column "Friends" (Aug. 16) to keep with other memorable articles. It had so much meaning to me. She had the rare ability to find humor in the face of adversity, abundant courage and strength of character. Even in the end, although her voice failed her, many of us heard her, loud and clear. May she rest in peace.

Barbara Pria, Woodland Hills

Fifteen months ago, I put the names of Molly Ivins and Marlene Marks on my back at the Revlon Walk against women's cancer -- two very razor-sharp women commentators, both of whom seemed to read very different parts of my mind with ease, and both of whom were fighting valiantly against cancer. It was a joy to share her thoughts every week. Rest in peace, Marlene. We women will dearly miss you.

Joan H. Leonard, Sherman Oaks

Like so many, I found Marlene's recent columns a challenge and an inspiration, but it is one very special column from long before cancer had ravaged her that is deeply important to me.

In January 1996, just a few months after the murder of my twin sister, Nina, Marlene wrote a column about me, how my life had altered in the aftermath of Nina's death and how I was trying to make a life for myself and Nina's children.

Today, I reread that column and cried again, because Marlene had so beautifully captured what losing Nina meant to me. More than that, I was overwhelmed by the goodness in her that moved her to write about how her readers could best help me. It was a loving action, one I never expected, and one that really made a difference in my life. Marlene was right: remembering helps. And I will remember her all my life and I will miss her so.

Abby J. Leibman, Los Angeles

Even as life is crazy for a rabbi (and for everyone else) during the aseret yemei teshuva, I feel compelled to write about Marlene Adler Marks, a woman whom I held in great esteem, and whose death I personally mourn even though I never met her.

The Talmud so eloquently states that the loss of a single soul is the loss of a complete world. Each person sees the world through one's unique prism. Indeed, the depth of Marlene's soul and the poetic nature of her thought revealed a neshama that was constantly seeking refinement. For this loss, I greatly mourn.

When she wrote of her newfound appreciation of "Modeh Ani," I was inspired; when she declared that "you can radiate your brain without losing your soul," I cried. Her struggle throughout her illness revealed a dignity that was special to behold even as it was a tragedy in process.

As an Orthodox rabbi, I must confess some of Marlene's positions did not resonate with me. Her theological views were not traditional and her politics were not mine. Oh, how I wished I could debate her in person! I only regret that after reading her columns for 13 years in The Jewish Journal, I did not have the initiative to call her up and talk Torah with her.

May her struggle serve to inspire within our lives ever greater Jewish involvement and depth.

Rabbi Asher Brander, Westwood Kehilla


The biography for Gideon "Gidi" Grinstein ("Oslo Logic Still Valid," Sept. 13) omitted that between 1999-2001, Grinstein served as the secretary of the Israeli negotiation team to the permanent status negotiations of the Barak government.

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