Jewish Journal

Your Letters

Posted on Aug. 28, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Gibson's 'Passion'

You want to talk about "Passion" ("'The Passion' Over Jesus," Aug. 22)? Where is the passion in the Jewish community against this terrible, hateful film? All of the "leaders" you spoke to were so diplomatic, so polite, so careful. What we need as a community is to raise our voices with the indignation of our prophetic ancestors and do everything we can to speak out, protest and prevent the screening of this movie.

I absolutely refuse to be polite to Christians who continue to insist that they have the right to tell their so-called sacred story that is filled with hate. Jews have been struggling against these lies, stereotypes and despicable images for 2,000 years.

We, as a people, must arm ourselves with the beautiful knowledge of our great rabbis like Akiva, Zakkai, Hillel, the BeSht and contemporary visionaries like Rav Kook, Ben-Gurion, Aryeh Kaplan. For the sake of Jerusalem we must not be silent.


I've attempted to figure out a way to criticize David Klinghoffer's article ("The Jesus Movie Gibson Should Make," Aug. 15), however, I find it difficult to write about something that is total nonsense.

It seems Klinghoffer is all for restoring the canard that the Jews killed Jesus, something that was dispelled by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which deplored "all hatreds, persecutions and displays of anti-Semitism leveled at anytime or from any source against the Jews."

Joseph M. Ellis, Woodland Hills

Dr. Laura's Departure

Rarely do I read such good news in The Jewish Journal ("Dr. Laura Loses Her Religion," Aug. 22). Laura Schlessinger is moving away from Judaism. I hope this means she will remove that giant diamond Star of David from around her neck before her next series of bigoted remarks. Go in good health, Laura -- and go soon!

Ann Bourman , Los Angeles

L.A. Times Shalhevet Article

For weeks now I have had the experience of being the subject of controversy generated by an article in the Los Angeles Times about my experience as a teacher at a Jewish day school ("Times Shalhevet Article Is Not News," Aug. 8). While it is easy to dismiss the predictable ravings of people like Dennis Prager and his ilk, and even the craven political correctness of [Rob] Eshman in his (sort of) editorial in the Journal ("Front-Page Gray," Aug. 8), other efforts to avoid the issues at hand are puzzling.

I understand that portraying me as having a "side" and a "political agenda" is convenient and casting me as a naive idealist is useful. I understand also the inclination to ascribe sinister motives to someone willing to discuss difficult issues; that is a timeworn tactic of tyrants and politicians.

This was at the heart of the matter at Shalhevet and is at the heart of the furor generated by the Times article.

For the record, I never attempted to convert my students to any point of view. As a Jew, my point of view was close to theirs in any case. I did fulfill a teacher's obligation to encourage open discussion and open-mindedness.

It is remarkable that no one who has chosen to comment publicly on the L.A. Times article has noted the level of the controversy. Does the uproar strike a chord that people would prefer not to hear?

Alexander Maksik, Former Teacher Shalhevet High School

Rob Eshman questions why the L.A. Times devoted so many pages to a "minor brouhaha at a small Orthodox high school," and notes that many critics of the Aug. 3 story felt it was a slam at Orthodox Judaism.

The L.A. Times is anti-Semitic/anti-Jewish -- always has been, always will be. The only difference is that today's hierarchy is much more subtle and refined -- they employ lots of top Jewish writers and contribute to various Jewish charities.

There is an old Yiddish expression: "When you want to beat a dog, you can always find a stick." Ordinarily, the Shalhevet saga would have been run as a Column One feature. Be assured: If it's "Jewish," the Times always has its "stick" ready.

David R. Moss, Los Angeles

'Road Map' to Peace

As opposed to Daniel Sokatch looking forward "Both Sides Need To Stay on the Path" (Aug. 22), Morton Klein chooses to look backward in "Have the Lessons of Oslo been Forgotten?"

The only way forward is imperfect; when is it otherwise? In order to improve Israel's security and economic viability, not to mention to retain its Jewish and democratic nature, consistent majorities across the Israeli political spectrum are accepting, perhaps begrudgingly, that the imperfect reality of the "road map" is in Israel's best interest.

Going forward in a diplomatic process with pragmatic eyes wide open is what Israelis have consistently opted for, knowing that deterrence and force alone will not bring about the future they envision for themselves. This is something all of us, Klein included, should be able to learn from the past.

David Pine, West Coast Regional Director Americans for Peace Now

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