It is commendable that Brad Greenberg has written about Luke Ford as a journalist in the Jewish community ("Interview With a Serial Blogger" Aug. 3). Unfortunately, Greenberg devoted more print to the mayor's affair and the porn industry than Ford's writings about our community.
Ford's book, "Yesterday's News Tomorrow," was mentioned but not explored. Had it been, we would understand that amid the lashon hara, Ford gives us "sunlight" as "antiseptic" (Louis Brandeis).
Reference to Marsha Plafkin suing the University of Judaism is an apt example. This case was investigated by The Jewish Journal but never published. Ford addressed the opportunity, if not the responsibility, to provide readers with information. He published an interview of Plafkin's experience, leaving readers to determine fact or fiction.
If Greenberg had read the interview, he would know that a jury reached a verdict on some charges favoring the UJ. He would also know that other charges were withdrawn by Plafkin (dismissed without prejudice), given her concern about the judge's impartiality.
Without Ford, what other stories will be yesterday's news tomorrow?
Shame on The Jewish Journal for publishing such an article ("Interview With a Serial Blogger," Aug. 3). You are no better than the person you wrote about.
A better title for that article would have been, "Interview With a Serial Porno Blogger." I was shocked, horrified and appalled. In the future, I hope you publish articles that are worthy of being in a newspaper that has "Jewish" in its name.
Name Withheld by Request
Your cover article about Luke Ford and his wayward lifestyle force me to ask you why we need to know about him, and why put him on the cover and give him undue notoriety.
I am tired of weekly reading negative things about our Jewish community that you dig up. It is worse than anti-Semitic publications which you seem to fuel.
Why can't you write about all the good and chesed that goes on around us in the Jewish community that I see. You have not done one article on Yael and Nouriel Cohen and their Tomchei Shabbat, which feeds and clothes 54 families weekly.
Please spend your time locating and publicizing the positive aspect of being Jewish and being a part of a wonderful, close-knit Jewish community and value system, as I feel I am. Turn your negative covers into something positive, please!
I wait for Thursdays to get your publication outside my synagogue and not be disappointed.
Marina Del Rey
Ed. Note: The Journal has run eight features or news items on Tomchei Shabbat since 1998. Please check our archives at www.jewishjournal.com/archive for the complete listing.
Poor Noah Feldman (Stop Ostracizing the Intermarried July 27). His old school (an Orthodox yeshiva in Brookline, Mass.) did not recognize his wedding in the "simchas section" of its alumni newsletter and cut him out of his class reunion photo. So, in return, he wrote a major complaint piece in a national newspaper slamming his school and his old friends, and now his rabbi at Oxford has also come out to bat for him.
I am sure that professor Feldman and his wife are justifiably revered by every person -- Jewish or not -- in which they come into contact, so I am not sure why it was so important to have his marriage sanctioned by his old school.
Should it have wished him mazel tov on his marriage to a woman who has not converted to Judaism, congratulated him for rejecting the values he was taught over the many years at the day school and high-fived him for denying his children the incredible Jewish knowledge that he is apparently still so proud of (as he mentioned in The New York Times article. He can still remember the words to the sidrah read on the Shabbat of Purim "verbatim").
Rabbi [Shmuely] Boteach, what is the point of encouraging him to keep going to synagogue, lay tefillin and keep Shabbat if these traditions are not handed down?
Yes, I agree that our Jewish identities should not only have meaning through our children, however, they are ultimately our legacy and ensure our continuity as a people. Professor Feldman's actions seem quite selfish to me, especially when one looks to the countless number of Jewish converts of all denominations who have made tremendous sacrifices to ensure identities for their children and who are embraced and admired by their communities.
Finally Rabbi Boteach, please keep reminding this "prince of the Jewish nation" to "devote his resources to the Jewish people" because with all the enemies we have in the world at the moment, we do not need more articles of this whiny nature being published in our national newspapers.
Why Be Jewish?
Rob Eshman's reasons to be Jewish were straightforward and down to earth but weren't conveyed in the form of his personal stories any more than those of the intellectuals whose pontifications at the Bronfman Vision Forum he criticizes (The Answer Aug. 3).
If The Journal has not done so recently, this might be a good time to go back onto the street and ask Jews of all ages and stripes (affiliated and nonaffiliated) the question: Why be Jewish? I for one would like to compare their responses to Eshman's and those of the forum participants.
The "talking heads" or "back of the heads" described by Rob Eshman will certainly find no answers to their query. "Why be Jewish?" because they reject the only answer that is true.
We are not Jewish because it is "good for us." Buddhism, Christianity and all humanistic, liberal cultures abide by ethical codes which are "good for us."
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