June 26, 2003
David Suissa's article was right on ("An Unorthodox View of Who's Orthodox," June 20). I have often thought similarly but was unable to articulate it as succinctly. Around the world, Jews are invariably Orthodox by default; there are no options. Yet, their practice looks more like American Reform or Conservative.
Boxes rarely serve an expanding purpose; they are used to limit and make the world safer for the boxer. The only important distinction ought to be whether you take Judaism seriously. Yasher koach, David. Thanks for opening the dialogue.
Glenn Fischel, Encino
Does David Suissa suggest that Torah scholars, those who struggle to provide a formal, intensive Jewish education for their children or those who put on tefillin every morning do not excel at other mitzvot as their nonobservant brethren? On what evidence is that assumption based?
Would it not be a greater kiddush Hashem (sanctification) if instead of protesting the pollution of the concrete-lined Los Angeles River, we protested the spiritual pollution of our environment through media and advertising?
How about this deal: Orthodox Jews support soup kitchens on Skid Row if heterodox Jews support the enactment of school vouchers in support of private and religious education?
I suspect "good deeds" has its limits, no?
Howard Winter, Beverly Hills
ADD Fast Lane
No doubt Wendy Mogel, in her article "ADD, ADHD -- Life in the Fast Lane" (June 20), intended to highlight abuses that occur when parents and children take advantage of a particular label to gain an unfair competitive or recreational edge for themselves. However, I am concerned that readers who have not experienced life in the ADHD lane may revert to the thinking of 15 years ago, when ADHD was considered simply the result of bad parenting and the inability to effectively discipline a child.
ADD and ADHD exist on a scale. The steps that Mogel recommends at the end of her article are helpful and are important first steps in seeking treatment. However, people with serious ADHD challenges need much more intervention and are often victims of abuse, rather than abusers of the system.
Let's discourage the abuses, but let's also lend a helping and inclusive hand to those who so desperately need it.
Marilynn G. Lowenstein Los Angeles Accessible Judaism
All of us at Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) are grateful for the exposure provided by both The Journal ("Accessible Judaism," June 6) and OLAM.
I would like to bring to your readers' attention a service at JFS that will help facilitate their access to those services and resources, both inside and outside of the Jewish community, that do exist.
The JFS Disabilities Warmline at (323) 883-0342 is available to help find the most appropriate programs and services available, be it for children or adults, individuals or families, with visible or invisible disabilities. There is no fee for this service.
Sally Weber, Director Jewish Community Programs Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles
I congratulate Rabbi Daniel Bouskila on his inspirational call to investigate Torah through chavruta learning ("Learning Together," June 6). The lively environment of a traditional study hall is the source of fascination and inspiration for thousands of Jews worldwide.
We invite Jews citywide to visit our chavruta program every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening at LINK in Westwood. The dozens who do already couldn't be happier.
Rabbi Gidon Shoshan, Los Angeles Intercommunity Kollel
Kosher Hot Dogs
Regarding kosher hot dogs at Dodger Stadium ("Kosher Dog Days of Summer," June 20), bring in Rubashkin's [hot dogs] from Postville, Iowa, and I'll be there with bells on my toes.
Mike Smith, Manhattan Beach
Indiscreet in the IDF
I can't tell you how pleased I was to learn that Dutch Griffin intended to place little U.S. flag stickers on lampposts near the north gate of the Old City (Indiscreet in the IDF," June 13). Maybe next time I go to France or England, I can do the same near Buckingham Palace or the Louvre.
Steve Zweiback, Culver City